MPs and Peers backs ending the privatisation of cleaning

MPs and Peers backs ending the privatisation of cleaning

20 July 2021

RMT Press Office:

In the week lockdown restrictions are eased a new Cross-party coalition of MPs and Peers backs rail and tube safety case for ending the privatisation of cleaning.

As lockdown restrictions ease, a cross-party coalition of more than 80 MPs and Peers has said that there is ‘a strong safety and efficiency case’ for ending the privatisation of cleaning on the National Rail network and London Underground bringing these essential services in-house and integrating them with other core railway functions.

The call came as both the rail industry and Mayor of London have agreed to review the outsourcing of cleaning and on the day that transport cleaners take their fight to Parliament.

A statement published today and signed by 83 Parliamentarians including Labour, Liberal Democrats, Crossbenchers and Conservatives, Independent, SNP and Green MPs or Peers noted that:

“Cleaners have worked heroically through the pandemic, putting their lives on the line to keep our transport services safe and there is now a consensus within the transport industry that high quality cleaning is integral to the future of public transport.

We believe that there is now a strong safety and efficiency case for ending the privatisation of cleaning, bringing these essential services in-house and integrating them with other core railway functions”

Cleaners who are members of RMT will gather outside Parliament at 12pm today to protest against the outsourcing that has blighted transport cleaning for decades.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said:

“Both the National Rail Industry and the Mayor of London are actively looking at whether there is a case for insourcing railway cleaning and todays cross-party group of MPs and Peers are absolutely right to say there is strong safety and efficiency case to do just that.

“In the week that lockdown restrictions are eased transport cleaners are today gathering at parliament to say that throughout the pandemic, they’ve shown the world that they are not ‘non-core’ but are essential workers who have kept passengers safe, often at risk to themselves.

“But they’ve been hampered by the industry’s fixation with handing cleaning to outsourcing companies who drive profits up by inflicting hardship and misery on their workforce and by doing it ‘cheaper but dirtier’. This has to end and the rail industry and Mayor of London have a golden opportunity to put things right and put safety and service before profit.”

Notes for editors
 
  1. RMT members will be gathering to protest opposite Old Palace Yard, Westminster, at 12pm today.
  2. The Rail Industry Recovery Group and Transport for London have agreed to conduct reviews of their outsourced cleaning to consider whether it would be better ‘insourced’ and cleaners employed directly. The Mayor of London made this part of his Manifesto, while the Rail Industry Recovery Group agreed this as part of its Enabling Framework
  3. RMT has recently published a report showing the effects of outsourcing transport cleaning on cleaners and on public health
  4. The statement and its signatories are reprinted in full below:
 
Statement in support of transport cleaners: 

We note and welcome the news that the Rail Industry and Transport for London will be conducting reviews into whether cleaning on public transport systems might be better delivered through insourcing. 


These reviews are very timely. The coronavirus crisis has decisively exploded the idea that cleaning is 'non-core' to transport operations, an argument that has long justified the outsourcing of cleaners. 


Cleaners have worked heroically through the pandemic, putting their lives on the line to keep our transport services safe and there is now a consensus within the transport industry that high quality cleaning is integral to the future of public transport. 

We believe that there is  now a strong safety and efficiency case for ending the privatisation of cleaning, bringing these essential services in-house and integrating them with other core railway functions, as is already the case with rail transport services in Scotland and Wales. 

We also agree with the research by Transport Focus has said that "All our insight now suggests greater levels of concern about cleanliness are likely to persist well beyond the pandemic - with a cultural shift towards greater care over hygiene and health. Passengers do not want to see the standard of cleanliness slip for the foreseeable future." 


We ask that these reviews of cleaning on the national rail networks and at Transport for London 
consider more than short-term financial considerations and take a rounded view of social value that factors in the longer-term benefits that insourcing and integrating cleaning staff with the core railway workforce will bring for both passengers and workforce .
 
Lord Bird Crossbencher
Lord Beecham   Labour
Baroness Blower Labour
Rt Hon Lord Boateng PC DL Labour
Baroness Buscombe Conservative
Baroness Bryan of Partick Labour
Lord Campbell-Savours Labour
Lord Cashman of Limehouse Non-affiliated
Rt Hon Baroness Chakrabarti Labour
The Earl of Clancarty Crossbencher
Baroness Cox Crossbencher
Baroness Crawley   Labour
Rt Rev Lord Eames Crossbencher
Rt Hon Lord Field of Birkenhead Non-affiliated
Lord Foulkes Labour
Lord Fox of Leominster Liberal Democrat
Rt Hon Lord Hain Labour
Baroness Harris of Richmond   Liberal Democrat
Lord Haworth Labour
Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill Labour
Lord Hendy Labour
Baroness Hooper Conservative
Lord Jones of Cheltenham Liberal Democrat
Rt Hon Baroness Kramer Liberal Democrat
Lord Liddle of Carlisle Labour
Baroness Lister of Burtersett   Labour
Lord Mackenzie of Culkein Labour
Lord McKenzie of Luton Labour
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne   Conservative
Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede Labour
Baroness Randerson Liberal Democrat
Lord Sawyer Labour
Lord Shipley of Gosforth Liberal Democrat
Lord Sikka Labour
Lord Snape Labour
Lord Storey  Liberal Democrat
Lord Swinfen   Conservative
Baroness Uddin of Bethnal Green Non-affiliated
Lord Whitty Labour
Lord Woodley Labour
Mike Watson, House of Lords Labour
Lord Young of Norwood Green Labour
Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP Labour
Tahir Ali MP Labour
Paula Barker MP Labour
Hilary Benn MP Labour
Apsana Begum MP Labour
Paul Blomfield MP Labour
Richard Burgon MP Labour
Dawn Butler MP Labour
Ian Byrne MP Labour
Dan Carden MP Labour
Sarah Champion MP Labour
Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP Independent
Martyn Day MP SNP
Allan Dorans MP Labour
Margaret Ferrier MP Independent
Neale Hanvey MP SNP
George Howarth MP
Kim Johnson MP Labour
Ian Lavery MP Labour
Clive Lewis MP Labour
Tony Lloyd MP Labour
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP Labour
Caroline Lucas MP Green 
Kenny MacAskill MP Alba
Rt Hon John McDonnell MP Labour
Ian Mearns MP Labour
Navendu Mishra MP Labour
Grahame Morris MP Labour
Kate Osborne MP Labour
Christina Rees MP Labour
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP Labour
Tommy Sheppard MP SNP
Andy Slaughter MP Labour
Rt Hon John Spellar MP Labour
Chris Stephens MP SNP
Zara Sultana MP Labour
Richard Thomson MP SNP
John Trickett MP Labour
Claudia Webbe MP Independent
Mick Whitley MP Labour
Daniel Zeichner MP Labour

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Tagged with: Cleaners are Essential, Rail, Tube, Cleaning, Outsourcing, Privatisation,