Parliament’s cleaners vote on strike action

The first strike by workers at the Houses of Parliament could come a step nearer today when cleaners are expected to back industrial action in a dispute over pay.

About 170 members of the Transport and General Workers (T&G) Union are voting on whether to support a campaign of disruption to highlight their low wages.

The cleaners earn £5 an hour, have no sick pay or company pension and receive 12 days holiday a year.

The cleaners are calling for a “London living wage” of £6.70 an hour, sick pay, better holidays and a company pension.

They are employed by two agencies – Mitie Cleaning and Emprise Services – which were given the contracts by the parliamentary authorities. They said that cleaners directly employed by Parliament are paid £8 an hour, receive six weeks holiday, sick pay and a pension.

T&G deputy general secretary Jack Dromey insisted he was confident of a “yes” vote and warned that a strike would be held next week unless the dispute is resolved.

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