18 February 2022
RMT Press Office
Hundreds of heroic rail cleaners employed by Churchill on four contracts in the South East will take strike action on Wednesday 23rd February as part of their fight for pay justice.
As the cost of living crisis escalates, the cleaners, who have put their lives on the line during the Covid-19 crisis to keep trains across London and the South East running, will walk out for a 24 hour strike that will affect trains and stations on Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, Southeastern, Eurostar and HS1 services.
The cleaners will be holding a rally outside Parliament at 11am on Wednesday 23rd February where they will be joined by MPs and other supporters.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said,
“This will be the biggest yet industrial action by cleaners on the rail network and it’s part of our union’s message to the government and employers that the days where they could get away with rank exploitation of this essential workforce are over.
“The demonstration outside Parliament on the strike day will let MPs know the strength of feeling on the matter.”
“Our members’ already scandalously low pay is being eaten away and they are justifiably not putting up with it any longer.
“Churchill can afford to pay, so they need to get back to the table with a proper offer, and the government need to tackle the cost of living crisis by ending their callous pay freeze on the railways”.
Notes to editors:
1. RMT cleaners will be rallying outside Parliament at 11am on 23rd February, the day of their strike action.
2. On 1st February, the cleaners voted in overwhelming numbers for strike action, smashing through the Tory anti-trade union law thresholds on all contracts. In two of the ballots the majorities in favour of action were 100%. The cleaners mostly earn either the National Minimum Wage of £8.91 an hour or the Living Wage of £9.50.
3. As RMT showed recently, Workers on the National Minimum Wage and the Real Living Wage are more than £1,000 worse off now than 12 months ago as a result of soaring inflation, according to new research published by the RMT today. As RPI inflation reached 7.5% in December 2021 it meant that a worker on the National Minimum Wage would need £1,252 more a year to prevent a real terms pay cut while a worker on the Real Living Wage would need £1,395 more: https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/soaring-inflation-biting-into-low-paid-workers-wages/