Mitie Merseyrail cleaners dispute - Demo 0800 Friday 13 August

Head Office Circular: NP/296/21
11 August 2021

To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague

RMT cleaner members employed by Mitie on the Merseyrail station and accommodation cleaning contract are again taking strike action on Friday 13th August over a number of issues, specifically:

Pay and Conditions of Service 2020 & 2021: the pay awards for 2020 and 2021 remain outstanding and Mitie has offered what RMT and its members consider to be an unacceptable pay offer. The company has offered just 10p per hour from 1st July 2020, followed by 11p per hour from 1st July 2021. This offer would still leave these workers 29p per hour short of the current Real Living Wage (£9.50ph) and significantly short of the Union’s demand of at least £10ph.

Calculation of holiday pay: Mitie has withdrawn from a collective agreement reached with the RMT, and applicable from 1st April 2018, regarding the payment of average earnings during annual leave. Mitie has stated that this is due to legislation introduced by the Government which was applicable from April 2020 ‘The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) Amendment Regulations 2018’. RMT has made clear to Mitie that the Union expects it to honour our collective agreement and that it can pay better than the minimum standard and still be compliant with legislation. Mitie’s response is that it only uses one system for calculating holiday pay and it is not prepared to use a separate calculation that would honour the collective agreement. This stance taken by Mitie therefore means that there are cleaners in Liverpool Combined Authority area that receive less than contractual hourly rates and in some cases the national minimum wage when taking annual leave.

Imposition of rosters – Liverpool South Parkway: Mitie has imposed new working arrangements at Liverpool South Parkway which mean a loss of 78 rest days with no compensation. This has significantly worsened the work-life balance of the affected workers.

These workers have been on the frontline throughout the pandemic, keeping the Merseyrail network clean and safe for passengers, yet they are being treated with disdain by their employer, who is more interested in keeping costs down than treating its workers fairly.

Mitie cleaners on the Merseyrail contract are paid significantly below the Real Living Wage and far less than RMT’s minimum demand of £10 per hour. Yet, Mitie’s latest accounts boast of ‘good trading resilience through Covid-19’ and reveal that revenue was up nearly 20% on the year before.

In support of the cleaners dispute, a demonstration is taking place outside Mitie and Merseyrail’s Liverpool Headquarters at Rail House, Lord Nelson Street, Liverpool L1 1JF at 8am on Friday 13th August.

RMT members, reps and activists in the area are encouraged to attend the demonstration and support the Mitie Merseyrail cleaners in their fight for pay justice.

Branches and Regional Councils are asked to publicise details of the demonstration to relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary