On Wednesday 28th November members of the London General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organised a lobby of the British Medical Association (BMA) Council to demand a London Living Wage for the IWW unionised cleaning staff of BMA House, London.

(The attached press release can be downloaded from the bottom of this page).

On their leaflet they appealed to BMA Council Members, BMA Members and Passers By to do all they can to ensure that cleaners at BMA House are lifted out of their poverty wages and paid the London Living Wage.

The leaflet asked members of the BMA Council to raise the issue as a matter of urgency at the Council meeting that day; BMA members to write to the BMA; and BMA worker and Passers By to sign the petition either right then and there or online at


The lobby was supported by Tower Hamlets BMA which sent a strong message of solidarity to the cleaners, had written to Mark Porter a prominent member of the BMA Council, and lobbied sympathetic Council members to table a motion. Pressure is mounting on the BMA

Article in media: http://www.commissioning.gp/news/article/386/protest-outside-bma-for-cleaners-rights/17/

The cleaners and the IWW will make sure that pressure mounts until the cleaners get the London Living Wage.

The cleaner’s employment is outsourced to a contractor (currently Interserve PLC) and they, like far too many Londoners, have been earning poverty wages of £6.08 p/h. They need and deserve the London Living Wage (LLW) of £8.55 p/h. To quote the Mayor of London whose office sets the LLW:

“Londoners deserve proper reward for their labours, and I’m delighted that a growing number of organisations recognise that it suits them as well as their staff to pay the London Living Wage”

The BMA, as a Trade Union and not for profit organisation, rightly puts their members employment issues at the very heart of what they do and campaign for public support against aggressive attacks (including privatisation and sub-contracting) on the NHS and the pay and condition of medical staff whose proud duty it is to serve the public.

We, as the cleaners Trade Union, believe that it is also in the interests of the BMA (and therefore BMA members) that all those who work for such a highly esteemed organisation (including all outsourced staff), are treated with dignity and fairly rewarded for their labour with a Living Wage. This represents true “value for money” and the BMA should use the current contract negotiations to make it happen.

We call on all BMA members, as medical practitioners, and staff as well as the general public who use the NHS to support the cleaners demand for a Living Wage and access to a healthier life.

Contact: south [at] iww [dot] org [dot] uk for more information.


Notes for the editors:

1.     IWW is an independent industrial union, organising workers in all industries. Please see www.iww.org.uk for more information.

2.     The new London Living Wage rate of £8.55 (£7.45 outside London) was announced last week by Mayor Boris Johnson during Living Wage week hosted by the Living Wage Foundation and KPMG. In the same week it was announced that 5 million workers (1 in 5) in the UK do not earn a Living Wage, the minimum amount necessary to live properly on.