Mitie’s Strategy in Practice: the view from below

Time: 12.30

Date: Friday 20 March

Venue: JG4006, Penrhyn Road campus

Speakers:

  • Phil Miller, investigative journalist at Corporate Watch
  • Cleaner, from Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB)

Mitie’s CEO, Kingston graduate Ruby McGregor-Smith, was due to speak at the Kingston University’s Business and Law Faculty on 12 March on the theme of ‘Strategic Challenges for the Outsourcing Industry’.  The corporation was already under heavy criticism for persecuting cleaners organising for the London Living Wage and other basic rights. Then Channel 4 News exposed horrendous conditions in Mitie-run detention centres. McGregor-Smith’s lecture has been cancelled, but she is still celebrated on the university’s ‘Wall of Fame’. It is vital that there is a critical debate on Mitie, the outsourcing industry, and what this means for human rights.

The Channel 4 News report reveals:

  • Home Office staff admitting that conditions in Harmondsworth are ‘shit’ and that detainees are not allowed cameras to photograph inside the centre because the government ‘don’t want the bad publicity that would entail’
  • A guard saying that the new Mitie management has ‘fucked this place up’, making staff work more shifts and get less rest: ‘It’s just gonna break. There’s only so much people can take,’ the guard warns
  • Paul Morrison, Mitie’s most senior manager at Harmondsworth, telling detainees that they will be locked inside their cells for two hours longer at night as part of the company’s new contract
  • Detainees living in unhygienic conditions with pigeons flying around inside, overflowing drains, rotting food in the kitchen, and bed bugs in their cells
  • A detainee suffering injuries from what appear to be epileptic fits
  • Mitie guards selling counterfeit clothes to detainees that had been confiscated at customs by the UK Border Force

(Source: Corporate Watch)

 
Event sponsored by:  KU UCU