Dagenham residents speak out against concierge suspension

PUBLISHED: 15:23 25 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:54 08 March 2016

Residents of Thaxted House, Dagenham, speak out in defence of popular concierge, Jamal

Residents of Thaxted House, Dagenham, speak out in defence of popular concierge, Jamal


Residents are up in arms after their much-loved concierge was dismissed without being told why.

Ali ‘Jamal’ Rawahy has worked for the council property Thaxted House in Dagenham for nine years, the past six with management company Manpower Direct (UK).

But an apparently unprovoked suspension last week has left him confused and triggered a protest by more than sixty residents.

Jamal, 66, told the Post he hadn’t been back to work since his suspension last Wednesday.

“I was told I was on a zero hours contract,” he said.

“It’s very upsetting because I have rent to pay and I just have to stay at home,” said the concierge, who has three grown-up children.

“I’ve been told the company had instruction from the council to remove me but they still haven’t given me anything in writing.”

Resident Nichola Goodman, 33, organised the ‘No Jamal, no Manpower protest’ protest on Friday.

“He’s done nothing wrong,” said the mum-of-four.

“The company has written letters to Jamal in the past saying how good he is, so we don’t understand why they have done this to him and replaced him with people who know nothing about the building or residents and the problems we have.

“Everyone loves Jamal, he knows the names of everyone in the building.”

Nichola added that the concierge fee cost her £20.23 a week and “the only time we get value for money is with Jamal”.

A spokeswoman for Manpower Direct (UK) said they did not wish to comment at this stage.

A council spokesman added: “The council has been made aware of this issue and we are currently conducting an investigation.

“We are unable to comment further.”

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