Bizarre protest as cleaners plan to starve themselves outside RBS over pay and conditions in the City

Five City cleaners are planning to starve themselves next week outside the offices for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as part of a campaign for better pay, even though they are not employed by the bank or its cleaning contractor.

The cleaners, represented by the Transport & General Workers’ Union (T&G), are planning to refuse food from Monday and camp overnight outside the bank in London’s Square Mile.

The union said City cleaners can earn as little as £5.35 per hour and typically receive no sick pay, no pension, the legal minimum holiday allowance of 12 days a year plus bank holidays.

The protest follows RBS’s announcement of £9bn in profits earlier this week, according to a report in the Times.

One of the cleaners said: “They [RBS] can afford to treat their cleaners with dignity, but do not, and they employ a contract cleaning company that refused to recognise our union.”

While the cleaners do not work at RBS or its main contractor Lancaster Cleaning, they do work in the City.

A spokesman for RBS described the protest as “not our issue”.

Lancaster Cleaning said: “We have a stable and contented workforce and the lowest rate of staff turnover of any major cleaning company.”

The T&G has warned City banks to expect more direct action to make them pay cleaners higher wages.

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