The installation of a fingerprinting machine for cleaning staff at Eurostar to use when they clock in and out of work has sparked an angry reaction from rail union the RMT, and left members working at the train firm planning to ballot for industrial action.
The RMT described the new clocking-in system as “draconian” and one that “treats employees like criminals”.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow has written to the cleaners’ employer, Carlisle Group, as well as to Eurostar, asking that the machines are removed from the workplace.
In a statement, Crow said: “The introduction of routine staff fingerprinting is totally outrageous and further proof that our surveillance society is spiralling out of control. Carlisle Group cannot be allowed to introduce these Orwellian working practices.”
The ballot for industrial action will open on 21 April and close on 5 May.
Crow added: “We are balloting our members employed by Carlisle Group at St Pancras International with a firm recommendation to take action to stop this appalling attack on civil liberties.”
Eurostar explained this was an issue for Carlisle Group. Carlisle Group was unavailable for comment.