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MPs call on London Mayor to end exploitation of Tube cleaners as RMT says treatment of workers “shames the capital.”

TUBE UNION RMT has welcomed a motion tabled in Parliament today by MPs calling on Transport for London, which is chaired by the London Mayor, to end the exploitation of Underground cleaners.

The MPs intervention came as RMT cleaners are due to demonstrate outside City Hall later today and RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said in an open letter to the London Mayor that the “continuation of such low workplace standards and conditions shame the capital.”

The motion tabled by London MPs including Kate Hoey, David Lammy, Jon Cruddas, Virendra Sharma, John Cryer and Catherine West expresses concern that,
“despite working in dirty and hazardous conditions frequently through the night time and other unsocial hours these hard working and often vulnerable public servants only receive bare minimum statutory sick pay, pensions and holiday entitlement.”

The MPs also say they are:

“further concerned by the decision of the new outsourced Tube cleaning contractor ABM to make employment conditions even worse by introducing an inferior sick pay scheme.”
The motion, which is also supported by MPs outside London, says;
“such a high profile world famous public service as the London Underground should be leading the way in providing decent working conditions for all its staff instead of exploiting vulnerable workers.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The treatment of Tube cleaners shames the Capital. MPs are saying what the London Mayor should be saying – that it is unacceptable for a foreign global outsourcing outfit like ABM to be allowed to exploit 3000 London Tube cleaners in this way.

“Instead, the Mayor should be acting now to ensure these vulnerable but dedicated public servants receive the same basic conditions as other Tube staff.

“This should be a first step to ending the outsourcing of cleaning on the Tube and returning it to public ownership.”

The BFAWU send a massive message of solidarity to friends and comrades of the UCU, fighting to protect pensions. This is a union who have fought tooth and nail to protect our education system, now it’s time for us to help them in their hour of need.
Ronnie Draper, General Secretary BFAWU

On behalf of everyone at the RMT can I send our solidarity to you, and all of your members fighting for their pension rights. We fully understand the strength of members feelings about this and believe it is a disgrace that the employers are now seeking to reduce the level of members deferred income, making them financially worse off in the future. As if there isn’t enough evidence of a crisis in higher education without vice-chancellors slashing the pensions of staff whilst signing off their own generous pay packets. You are absolutely right to fight for your pensions and RMT wish you all the very best in that struggle over the next four weeks.”
Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT

The NUJ stands in solidarity with all UCU members taking strike action in protest against the attack on their pension. The proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme will leave many people who have saved and planned for their retirement much worse off. Many lecturers in higher education have accepted modest salaries on the basis that they have a decent pension. First Actuarial estimates that a typical lecturer will receive £208,000 less under the proposals than presently. This is grossly unfair, especially in the light of university chiefs feathering their own nests with huge salaries and bumper pension packages."
Michelle Stanistreet, General Secretary, National Union of Journalists

I am writing on behalf of the Public and Commercial Services Union to offer our full support and solidarity to your members commencing strike action this week. As you know we fully share your members concerns over pensions. The decision by the University Employers to force through these changes against the wishes of the staff is a disgrace. Congratulations on your 88% vote for strike action on a 58% turnout, proving again that whatever obstacles the government puts in the way, these can be overcome by a union that is determined to stand up for its members. We wish your members well in the 61 Universities taking action and we will be alerting our members to the action and urging them to bring solidarity greetings locally. Please keep in touch about the progress of your dispute and let me know if you require further assistance. 
MARK SERWOTKA General Secretary, PCS

The POA are aware of UCU members fight for justice on their pensions. Pensions should never be about a race to the bottom in old age. There should be decent pensions for all. The POA are only too aware of pension injustice. We wish UCU members solidarity in their strike action and hope that the employer recognises they are damaging workers terms and conditions

STEVE GILLAN. General Secretary, POA

UCU members at 62 universities across the UK, will walk out on Thursday 22 February as part of anescalating programme of strikes over a four-week period. The strike dates are:

Week one – Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February (two days)
Week two – Monday 26, Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 February (three days)
Week three – Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March (four days)
Week four – Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 March (five days)

The dispute centres on universities’ proposals to slash the benefits of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension scheme. UCU says this would leave a typical lecturer almost £10,000 a year worse off in retirement than under the current set-up.

In the recent strike ballot UCU members overwhelmingly backed industrial action. Overall, 88% of members who voted backed strike action. The turnout was 58%. At Manchester 90% backed strike action on a turnout of 55%.



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