Public ownership pays at Metro-not

[Saturday]

Following on from news that the “public-private partnership” Metronet will be replaced by publicly-owned Transport for London, there’s more good tidings for workers and passengers of the capital’s underground rail network.

Yes, I do like to see victories like this one:

TUBE CLEANERS working for contractors to Metronet are to receive substantial pay rises when Transport for London takes over the failed privateer’s contracts, marking a huge victory for a two-year campaign by London Underground’s biggest union.

RMT today revealed that Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has agreed that the London Living Wage of £7.20 an hour will become the minimum for some 900 cleaners on former Metronet contracts from the moment TfL take charge of them.

For some cleaners paid only the minimum legal wage of £5.85 it will mean an increase of at least £1.35 an hour – well over 20 per cent

“This is great news that marks a significant victory for RMT’s Justice for Cleaners campaign, and Tubelines must be next,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.

“For more than two years RMT cleaners, supported by their colleagues across the Tube network, have been campaigning for the pay justice, dignity and respect due to them, and the first major victory is now in sight.

“We have lodged claims with all the cleaning contractors working on the Tube – including ISS, which is contracted to Tubelines – for £7.20 to be the minimum hourly rate, with a minimum £1 hourly night premium, for all Tube cleaners.

“No-one can accuse us of being unreasonable for asking for the free travel that other Tube workers already get, a minimum of 20 days’ holiday over and above bank holidays, sick pay and a pension scheme.

“It is nonsense that cleaning contractors who make millions cannot afford to pay a living wage to the people who do some of the dirtiest and most difficult jobs on the Tube, and the time has come to start bringing cleaning back in-house,” Bob Crow said.

And let’s hope that the plans to privatise the East London Line can be derailed (pardon the pun).

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