Approximately 100 workers of Elite Cleaning Services, a cleaning service company which has a fixed-term contract with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) participated in a peaceful demonstration at the institution’s Auckland Park Kingsway Campus – on Thursday the 14th of November – culminating in the handing over of a memorandum of grievances.
A handful of academics and student representatives took part in the demonstration in solidarity with the Elite workers.
The memorandum highlighting grievances by workers was handed over to the management of the University. The grievances concern the working conditions and arrangements between Elite and its workers. From their memorandum it appears that the workers would like to enlist the assistance of the University in their negotiations with Elite. It also seems that they would want the University to disregard its fixed-term contract with Elite and employ them directly.
Like many similar institutions in the country, the University enters into contracts with various service providers. The University has rigorous protocols in terms of how it enters into contracts with these service providers. The University has no control over the conditions of engagement and service between service providers and their employees.
The University will forward the grievances of the workers to the management of Elite for consideration and direct engagement with their workers.