Doctors at the recent British Medical Association (BMA) national conference have taken a welcome step towards protecting the health of the cleaning staff employed by their own union.
Cleaners at BMA House in London (the HQ of the doctor’s union) are subcontracted and paid a poverty wage of £6.19 p/h – something which contributes to poor health, according to a recent statement by the BMA itself in one of its own journals. Since organising in the IWW, the cleaners have been campaigning for a living wage of at least £8.45 p/h. The Director of BMA House says that BMA doesnt directly employ them, so it’s not their problem…
Wrong! Subcontracting is often a way for ‘the real employer’ (i.e. the client, who actually has power to influence terms and conditions within the market) to avoid responsibility. But not any longer as unions fight back. And for a trade union to behave like this is a disgrace.
Luckily, lots of BMA members agree and supporters of the IWW campaign introduced two motions to the BMA Conference in Edinburgh last week. Initially, these were deemed ‘unlikely to be heard’ but Scottish Wobblies swung into action, leafletting BMA members outside the venue. The delegates then not only voted to debate one of the motions, but voted to pass it as a reference, which means that the BMA Council now have to formally consider it. Great news!
A BMA member told us; “It was an excellent result to get it debated as the most popular chosen motion, far more members know about this now than ever would have otherwise”.
The IWW send our deepest thanks to the BMA delegates who proposed, argued for and voted to support these cleaners and we ask all Doctors to keep pressuring your union to do the right thing: Pay the cleaners a Living Wage!
Get involved: www.iww.org.uk/join