WeWork faces London protest day after stock market listing pulled

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
WeWork office space at Chapel Street, London. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA /Getty Images

WeWork will face protests outside several of its London locations on Wednesday, adding to a difficult week for the company after it delayed plans to list on the stock exchange.

Organisers have pledged to “make a lot of noise” as they protest against the dismissal of at least four cleaners working at WeWork’s London sites.

WeWork is one of the largest office rental companies in the world, with more than 500 locations around the globe and more than 50 London offices.

It uses a company called CCM Facilities for cleaning at its London locations. More than 500 of the firm’s cleaners work at its sites.

READ MORE: WeWork delays multi-billion-dollar IPO after poor reception

A union representing some staff claims several cleaners unfairly lost their jobs earlier this year, after WeWork allegedly told CCM it did not want the workers at their offices.

The Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union (CAIWU) claimed the staff were axed over “unsupported” allegations, and questioned whether they were given enough opportunities to take alternative roles after the alleged WeWork requests.

The CAIWU hopes dozens of cleaners will rally outside WeWork Poultry by Bank in London on Wednesday morning to call for the workers to be reinstated, and is urging WeWork users to write to the company.

A WeWork office in London. Photo: PA

A CCM spokesman called the union’s account “misleading,” saying the company “fully investigated the allegations made and reached definitive conclusions based on fact” in cases that led to dismissals.

READ MORE: One in 7 UK hotel and restaurant staff receive no paid holiday

The spokesperson added they were unaware of any ex-staff filing legal claims of unfair dismissal, though the union claimed the cleaners’ short service meant they were legally unable to do so.

A WeWork spokeswoman declined to comment, saying the company was in a “quiet period” linked to its planned IPO.

The timing of the protest is unfortunate for WeWork. The hot US co-working firm was forced to delay its initial public offering (IPO) on Tuesday, after a poor reception from investors.

It now faces having its valuation cut well below the $47bn (£38bn) price tag it hoped for.