Another Education is Possible
Recently SOAS cleaners, through fighting back and uniting with students and other workers from other backgrounds, were able to win improvements in conditions and the London Living Wage.
At 6.30am on Friday the 12th June, without any advance warning SOAS cleaning staff were called to an emergency ‘Staff Meeting’, were confined in a room and then confronted by a team of 40 immigration officers who had been hiding under staged seating.
9 cleaners were arrested and sent to detention centres and are under threat of immediate deportation.
The outsourced cleaning company ISS and the schools management were aware of this intended raid and helped facilitate the removal of the cleaners.
We denounce the actions of the school and demand that academic institutions should not be complicit in assisting the Government in implementing their racist immigration programme. We find this particularly disgraceful given SOAS’s attempt to shake the reputation leftover from its colonial past. SOAS cannot lecture other countries about oppression when it complies in programmes such as this.
We cannot allow employers and the Government to use the threat of deportation to intimidate workers and prevent them from fighting to improve pay and conditions.
We urge you to show solidarity with the cleaners, UNISON and SOAS SU. We need to:
- Protest against the deportation of migrant workers and their families.
- Bring all workers in house, to receive equal treatment to SOAS staff, and force the university to take full responsibility for them.
- Formally disassociate from agencies such as ISS, and condemn such practice as witnessed at SOAS.
- Support calls for an amnesty for all migrant workers.