Union demands pay rise for London Underground cleaners

Union representatives have urged London mayor Ken Livingstone and Transport for London (TfL) to raise the minimum wage for cleaners working on the London Underground to £6.70 an hour.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) set out a ‘Cleaners’ Charter’, demanding an immediate increase in the pay rate and more dignity at work, in a protest at TfL’s headquarters last week.

The charter also states that cleaners should earn additional pay for late night or weekend work, and be entitled to a fair sick-pay scheme.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow criticised contractors for making large profits on London Underground projects while paying “poverty wages” to staff.

“The mayor quite rightly says that no-one can survive in London on wages less than £6.70 an hour, but there are more than 2,000 cleaners working on London Underground getting far less than that,” he said.

“Research indicates that 90% of cleaners working on London Underground are paid less than £5.51 an hour, and that nearly 40% get no more than the rock-bottom minimum wage of £5.05, while their employers are raking in millions. That is disgraceful.”

A recent report by the Greater London Authority found that almost 75% of people working as contract cleaners on London Underground were recent migrants.


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