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School of Geography

The cleaners who won fair wages and a way to belong


The Guardian’s ‘the alternatives’ column ran a story about Queen Mary’s decision to bring cleaning staff in-house in the mid-2000s, and how this “changed working lives and transformed a community for the better.” Journalist Aditya Chakrabortty wrote: “This is more than just a great story. The cleaners of QMUL are the living rebuttal of some of the most repugnant hypocrisies in Britain today – over who is entitled to what, over what kind of work matters, over who counts as part of a working community.” The article features Isaac Oti, the head of Queen Mary’s cleaning team, and Professor Jane Wills, formerly of the School of Geography, who spearheaded the campaign. 

  • Read the full article here and find out about the Living Wage Campaign here.



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