25 October 2021
RMT Press Office:
Churchill rail cleaners take their fight for justice to company headquarters.
Outsourced cleaners employed by Churchill and cleaning trains and stations across London and the Southeast will take their fight for justice to their company headquarters on Monday morning as they fight for a better deal for the people who have kept travel safe through the pandemic.
The cleaners are employed by Churchill to clean trains and stations for the Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Southeastern franchises which run trains across London and the Southeast of England.
Putting their lives on the line throughout the pandemic, they were given more work to make trains and stations cleaner but were given no extra staff and Churchill have said they want to cut number of cleaners on Southeastern trains. Churchill pay these cleaners the Minimum Wage and they get no company sick pay, though their directors did get a £3.8 million dividend in 2020.
In a recent survey of Churchill’s cleaners, conducted by the RMT, 61% reported that they sometimes or regularly struggle to get by, 69% reported that they have gone into work while sick because they couldn’t afford not to work, 35% were not confident they have the right equipment to do the job properly, 42% reported that the number of cleaners employed had fallen in the last three years and 61% said they were not confident they had enough people to do their job properly
The protest, which takes place at 9am outside Churchill’s headquarters in Fleet Street, London, is a result of the company’s refusal to meet the cleaners’ claim for a real Living Wage, Sick Pay and travel facilities equal to those of other rail workers.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said,
‘Yet again we see people who put their lives on the line throughout the worst of the pandemic so far being treated like dirt as a consequence of an outdated devotion to outsourcing on the railways.
"Churchill can afford to meet our cleaners’ claim but their fixation with profit means they will do anything rather than pay a decent wage and sick pay.
"Cleaners are essential to the future of our industry and the industry needs to wake up to that fact now and Churchill need to pay up, before this dispute becomes more damaging’.