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.”
- RMT members will be gathering to protest opposite Old Palace Yard, Westminster, at 12pm today.
- 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.
- RMT has recently published a report showing the effects of outsourcing transport cleaning on cleaners and on public health.
- The statement and its signatories are reprinted in full below:
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 .
|Rt Hon Lord Boateng PC DL||Labour|
|Baroness Bryan of Partick||Labour|
|Lord Cashman of Limehouse||Non-affiliated|
|Rt Hon Baroness Chakrabarti||Labour|
|The Earl of Clancarty||Crossbencher|
|Rt Rev Lord Eames||Crossbencher|
|Rt Hon Lord Field of Birkenhead||Non-affiliated|
|Lord Fox of Leominster||Liberal Democrat|
|Rt Hon Lord Hain||Labour|
|Baroness Harris of Richmond||Liberal Democrat|
|Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill||Labour|
|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 Shipley of Gosforth||Liberal Democrat|
|Lord Storey||Liberal Democrat|
|Baroness Uddin of Bethnal Green||Non-affiliated|
|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|
|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|