Rachel Keke: from picket line to Parliament

Rachel Keke went from working as a chambermaid on a 2 year strike to a French deputy (MP) in the space of a year. Come and hear her story.

Rachel Keke will be visting UVW union on 22nd July in order to share her incredible story which saw her move in the space of a year from the picket line of a 22 month strike of chambermaids into the French Parliment as a deputy (MP) for the New Ecological and Social People’s Union (Nouvelle Union Populaire Écologique et Sociale, NUPES) representing the Val-de-Marne department in the Paris region.


Rachel left Abobo, Côte d’Ivoire, at the age of 26 in 1999 to move to France following the Ivorian coup d’état. Having left school at 12 following the death of her motherShe moved from job to job including as a hairdresser, cashier and nursing assistant, and finally ended up as a chambermaid at the Ibis Batignolles hotel in Paris.

With the support of the CGT union Rachel managed to to win her strike against low pay and exploitation. And then went on to win a parliamentaty election agaisnt Macron’s former ministers despit having no previous political experince and having left school at the age of 12 to care for her 5 siblings following her mother’s death.

Having led the longest hotel strike in French history against unpaid overtime and poor working conditions of outsourced cleaning staff, she knows first hand the importarnce of collective struggle and describes herself as representing the “voice of the voiceless”. And as a previously subcontracted worker she is all too aware of the inequality, disrespect, discrimination and abuse that goes hand in hand with subcontracting, and is now leading the way in the fight against outsourcing, just as UVW union is too.

In this event we willl hear about Rachel’s struggles agasint low pay and outsourcing on the picket line and in Parliament. Union organisers Tiziri and Claude who helped her build and win her strike will be travelling with her to UVW’s offices to shar ethier experince of organising and winning strikes in France.

There will be a long FAQ.

Date and time: Sat, 22 Jul 2023 15:00 – 18:00 BST

Location: 140 Cambridge Heath Rd 140 Cambridge Heath Road London E1 5QJ

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