Merseyrail Cleaning and Maintenance Contract Staff Strike

Merseyrail Cleaning and Maintenance Contract Staff Strike

28 February 2014

Geoff Martin

Merseyrail (Lorne Stewart) Cleaning and Maintenance Contract Staff to strike again in fight for pay justice

RMT members working for Merseyrail contractors’ Lorne Stewart will be taking a second phase of strike action on Monday after the company refused to engage in serious talks aimed at resolving the dispute despite the best efforts of RMT’s negotiators.

At talks to avert the forthcoming strike held on Tuesday 25th February 14, Lorne Stewart refused to negotiate insisting they were under strict instructions not to improve the offer.

An offer from RMT of exploring the possibility of a two year deal for the 2013 & 2014 pay claims, confirmed on Wednesday 26th February 2014, was rejected out of hand, leaving the union no option but to go ahead with a second phase of strike action between 0001 and 2359 on Monday 3rd March 2014. RMT will also be holding a demonstration outside Merseyrail HQ, Rail House, Lord Nelson Street, Liverpool starting at 0715 on Monday.

Lorne Stewart workers carry out the essential station cleaning and maintenance that helps keep Merseyrail moving.

After nearly nine months of trying to negotiate, low paid Lorne Stewart workers have stood firm and rejected the profitable company’s derisory below-inflation pay ‘offer’ and are making a stand for a just pay settlement without strings. No matter how Lorne Stewart have tried to dress the offer up it still represents a cut in the standard of living and the institutionalisation of poverty pay.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“Despite the best efforts of RMT negotiators Lorne Stewart refuse to address the issue of poverty pay on Merseyrail and the workers whose hard graft makes Lorne Stewart’s profits have been offered what amounts to a real terms cut in their standard of living – they are rightly making a stand against that gross injustice.

“Lorne Stewart workers have suffered low pay for too long and it’s time for the company to share the fruits of its success with its staff.

“The company says it can’t afford to pay more and hides behind its contract with Merseyrail, yet its latest profit figure is £15 million — that’s £5,000 for every one of its workers and it can afford to hire in a scab army in a desperate attempt to break our members action. This company have got the money and it’s about time they started talking seriously about a fair deal and pay justice for the workers who generate the profits doing some of the dirtiest jobs on Britain’s transport network.”

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Tagged with: Merseyrail, Lorne Stewart, Cleaning & Maintenance, Strike