Striking Ministry of Justice cleaners joined on picket by Labour Shadow Justice Secretary

Luis, one workers on strike at the MoJ, said they call it the "Ministry of Injustice"

Yesterday marked the final of a three-day strike by cleaners at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). And key Labour Party figures, ,including Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon, showed their support for the strikers.

Currently, cleaner jobs at the MoJ are outsourced to provider OCS.

Mostly made up of migrants workers, the strikes organised union United Voices of the World, are centred around demands to be paid the London living wage (£10.20 an our), instead of the national living wage (£7.38 an hour).

Strikes also took place at the offices of Kensington and Chelsea council, where cleaners are employed by private company Amey. Earlier in the week, Kensington and Chelsea council indicated they would be bringing cleaners back in house – although one council spokesperson told the Guardian it would be “premature” to say this would definitely happen sparking worries that it will not come to fruition. If this does go ahead, workers say they will continue to demand the London Living Wage and sick pay that extends beyond the statutory minimum.

Luis, one worker on strike at the MoJ say they call it the “Ministry of Injustice”:

“Even though we are paid minimum wage, the company still tries to make us work harder and harder, doing more tasks and cleaning more, and the company doesn’t send anyone to replace the workers who are sick or absent.

“It is because they don’t even listen to us or treat us with respect that we have to strike.

Labour MP Catherine Wood said she has been “using parliamentary questions for months to name and shame the worst offenders, and try to find out why a cleaner in the MoJ is worth less than a cleaner in the Department for Education”. Adding:

My research reveals significant inconsistencies in pay and a government culture that wants to brush the issue under the carpet by saying these are “external contracts” and they “don’t hold details of pay rates”.

It’s a pathetic excuse. The Tory government could show leadership on a problem that plagues our society, and demand its contractors pay the living wage. Yet it is choosing to do nothing.

Strikers were also joined by Labour Shadow Justice Secretary, Richard Burgon.

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