LONDON´S TUBE CLEANERS NEED PASSENGERS SUPPORT (Plus other news from the Tube.)
Over 700 RMT Tube cleaners have taken 3 days strike action earlier this summer. They had achieved a 99.2% ballot for action to win the London living wage and decent conditions from their employers, private contractors.
While these cleaning companies are given millions from our fares and taxes by the Government, most cleaners get only £5.52 an hour and need 2 or 3 full-time jobs to survive in London. The private contractors give our cleaners no sick pay, pension or holiday and no free travel between stations, basic conditions for all other Tube workers.
Our cleaners are also subject to bullying and intimidation at work, including repeated National Insurance and immigration checks. The private companies sack them without any procedure or union representation , "third party" sackings, an easy way to get rid of trades union activists. Most cleaners are from ethnic minority communities. Their treatment is a blight on London.
As you might expect, during the previous 3 days of strike action, they were subject to extreme intimidation by the bosses who used strike-breakers; RMT members were threatened with the sack if they dared to strike. Yet the RMT cleaners showed solidarity in their struggle for dignity and respect; they were even able to recruit new members during the strike days!
BORIS JOHNSON - DIVIDE AND RULE OF THE MOST EXPLOITED
This is the first time the cleaners have ever taken strike action and their action is already having some effect. In July, with the support of other RMT members, CATP and other supporters, they demonstrated outside the Mayor´s Question Time at City Hall. Boris Johnson promised publicly £7.45 for Underground cleaners by August "at the latest". When asked if he meant ALL the cleaners, he did not answer, But, when the public had gone, he said the London living wage of £:7.45 was only for cleaners in SOME of the contracts. Others would get it next year at some point; and for rest, who work for Tubelines (which makes £ 1 million-a-week profit) he claimed he could do nothing at all.
But as mayor, he has the power to give all cleaners not only the London living wage, but also very moderate demands (like sick pay and 28 days holiday a year) on working conditions.
Divide-and-rule is a favourite tactic for those in power.
So the RMT cleaners are asking for YOUR SUPPORT
CATP knows the cleaning of our Tube is a health and safety issue for passengers - remember the consequences of the rubbish pile- up in the King´s Cross Fire.
What can you do to support the cleaners strike?
SPREAD THE WORD by putting this newsletter up on a notice-board at work.
CATP supporters can phone Dave Welsh 0207-837-0845 for more info
Anyone wishing to donate to the Cleaners Hardship Fund should send donations to Oily New, RMT Unity House, 39 Chalton St London NW1 1JD. Cheques should be made out to Finsbury Park RMT
OTHER NEWS FROM THE TUBE:
Ticket Offices Saved from threat of Closure: RMT,TSSA, CATP and passengers throughout London put pressure on Boris Johnson to scrap his predecessor´s closure plans. The Underground had planned to close 40 ticket offices and cut opening hours for most of the rest, with a loss of 270 jobs and ever-lengthening queues, a real victory for passengers and the workforce!
Tubelines Pay Less: RMT members have voted for strike action following a pay offer that would have left workers for Tubelines worse off that their colleagues who work for Metronet and London Underground. Bullying: After the victory of keeping the ticket offices open, some groups of workers on the Tube have voted for action in the Rickmansworth, Charing Cross, East Ham and Waterloo areas over management bullying and other problems.
Bill Posters: RMT members working for multi-national CBS Outdoor are taking strike action over their pay claim.
CATP August 08