The meeting was chaired by UNISON AGS Roger McKenzie. Luis Ojeda spoke first, he is from Ecuador who has lived in the UK for 14 years and is employed as a cleaner at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He described how dreadful it was for him and his work colleagues surviving on minimum wages as contract cleaners with a exploitative employer. UNISON, the other campus unions and SOAS students campaigned together and the School eventually introduced a Living wage policy for all.
Richard spoke as eloquently and persuasively as ever about how hard research showed that income inequality is simply bad for everyone. Rich and poor. Even if the biggest cheer he got was when he said that having no friends in society is worse for your health than if you smoked (from smokers)!
He also thought that it was no co-incidence that countries such as Norway and Sweden do better in almost all national well being statistical outcomes, have high levels of trade union density and influence.
So join UNISON and live longer and better!