Facebook cleaners vote to strike

December 8th 2021


Cleaners at Facebook's offices at 10 Brock Street in central London have voted unanimously to go on strike.

The decision to strike follows months of campaigning against excessive workloads imposed by their employer, Churchill Cleaning, and the dismissal last month of their union rep Guillermo Camacho. Since Churchill started to impose signficant changes to the cleaners' workloads in May, operatives have reported a range of health and safety issues including general exhaustion, back pain, the regular use of painkillers, elevated stress levels, and, in one case, internal bleeding. Camacho was dismissed after actively campaigning over these issues, when Facebook's facilities management contractor JLL requested his removal from the building.

An initial strike is scheduled for December 24th, Christmas Eve, with more industrial action likely to take place in the new year unless Churchill reviews its strategy or Facebook intervenes to modify the behaviour of its contractor.

The likelihood of any change in approach by Churchill is low, especially given that cleaners in other Facebook buildings are starting to experience problems similar to those at Brock Street. Staff at both Rathbone Place and Shaftesbury Avenue have reported increased workloads in recent weeks, along with a range of related issues, such as underhand attempts by Churchill to mislead cleaners into accepting fundamental changes to their contractual terms of employment. Questions have also been raised over the accuracy of documents translated by Churchill from English to Spanish. Cleaners claim that innaccuracies in these translations have misrepresented the true content of the documents to the mainly Spanish-speaking staff.

The Rathbone and Shaftesbury cleaners are currently considering whether to join their Brock Street colleagues in voting on industrial action.