The Biggest & Best Portal to the Professional Property, Workplace and Built Environment Community

Tuesday, 18 December

3.3 Million Outsourced Workers Await Joint-Employer Judicial Review

IWGB union is to have its day in court to face the Government in landmark case to extend the rights of outsourced workers.

The High Court has granted the Independent Workers of Great Britain union a judiciall review the Central Arbitration Committee's (CAC) refusal to hear an application for trade union recognition at the University of London (UOL).

The case could open the door for 3.3 million outsourced workers throughout the UK to negotiate directly what the IWGB describes as their 'de-facto' employer. (The IWGB claims that employees of outsourced companies such as Cordant, who operate at UOL, should be able to negotiate both with their direct employer and also the University.)

The union is launching acrowdfunding appeal, backed by the Good Law Project, to cover potential legal liabilities that could reach the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

While the judicial review is against two CAC decisions, the High Court is also allowing the University of London, Cordant Security and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to intervene as interested parties.

This means the union will be facing legal arguments and lawyers from four different bodies.

The IWGB initially brought the landmark case to the CAC to require the University of London to recognise the union for the purposes of collective bargaining on behalf of some of its outsourced workers in November 2017.

The law to date has been interpreted as only allowing workers to collectively bargain with their direct employer, in this case facilities management company Cordant Security. But, if successful, the test case would open the door for 3.3 million workers throughout the UK to collectively bargain with their de-facto employer as well as their direct employer, introducing the concept of a joint-employer to UK law.

The IWGB is arguing that denying the outsourced workers the right to collectively bargain with the University is a breach of article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The proposed collective bargaining unit would include security officers, porters and post room workers.

The IWGB has also been granted permission for a review into the CAC decision to not hear an application for trade union recognition with contract company Cordant Security.

IWGB President Henry Chango Lopez said: “The fact that vast swathes of the establishment, including the government, are joining forces to try and defeat our challenge is further proof of its importance. As a former University of London outsourced worker, I am keenly aware of the truth behind the fiction of outsourcing. It is no more and no less than a way to deny workers their rights - and it is about time we cleaned it up.”

Good law Project founder Jolyon Maugham QC said: “There are many ways bad employers dodge the cost of workers’ rights and outsourcing can be one of them. The treatment of workers with modest bargaining power and little influence can be hidden from view but it shouldn’t be hidden from the law through the use of faceless outsourcing companies. I’m proud to be supporting this case that will ensure that domestic law protects the human rights of some of the most vulnerable workers in the UK.”

The IWGB is being represented by solicitors from Harrison Grant and barristers John Hendy QC and Sarah Fraser Butlin.

Picture: The IWGB has been campaigning to end outsourcing at the University of London since September 2017.​


Article written by Cathryn Ellis


Related Articles

Zero Zero By End Of Zummer

The University of London has made a commitment to abolishing zero-hours contracts by the next academic year - and bringing some services back in house. However, the...

 Read Full Article
University Of London Concedes To Union Pressure

The Independent Workers of Great Britain union is claiming its disruptive strikes and protest at the University of London has won major concessions for outsourced...

 Read Full Article
University Of London - Outsourced Workers Declare More Strike Action

Outsourced university workers have announced yet another round of industrial action. Organised by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), over 100...

 Read Full Article
Boycott Over Outsourcing Could Cost University £Millions

Academics, students and politicians are to boycott the University of London over its outsourcing policies. If the boycott gains further traction, it could put a...

 Read Full Article
Looking For A New England - FM Workers Strike For New Deal

Ageing semi-punk, socialist Billy Bragg will lead a chorus of dispute at one of England's top universities as outsourced workers look for a new employment...

 Read Full Article
Out Of This Nettle - Danger - We Pluck This Flower - Safety

Shakespeare’s Globe, the iconic theatre based on Bankside, London, is to see Cordant Security provide a 24 hours a day, year round staffed security solution as the...

 Read Full Article
Migrant Cleaners Strike At Justice - And Other Locations

Migrant cleaners are to strike simultaneously at the Ministry of Justice and Kensington & Chelsea Town Hall on August 7-9. Meanwhile, self-employed electricians are...

 Read Full Article
Ernst & Young Offices Stormed By Striking Cleaners

Soon to be made redundant ISS cleaners and rent-a-mob unionistas stormed Ernst & Young's offices last night forcing a shut-down and evacuation. The Independent...

 Read Full Article
Outsourced Workers - Biggest Strike Ever Planned For April

University porters, receptionists and other outsourced workers have announced the biggest ever outsourced workers strike in UK higher education. The action will take...

 Read Full Article