17 April 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT slams Merseyrail contractors Mitie for “disgraceful and cynical opportunism” as company withdraws pay increase in midst of Covid-19 crisis.
RAIL UNION RMT today blasted Merseyrail station cleaning and facilities’ contractor Mitie for using the cover of the Covid-19 crisis to withdraw a pay award dated back to July last year. The union says it is a profiteering move that displays the most disgraceful and cynical opportunism in the midst of the current emergency.
The pay offer, which RMT had fought hard for through a long campaign, would have lifted pay rates to £9 per hour, an important staging post in the union fight to get the workers onto the Real Living Wage.
The union had accepted the back-dated offer but staff have now been informed by email that it has been pulled, denying them £500 in back pay and leaving them with the prospect of being £1000 a year worse off per annum.
RMT's executive will now consider declaring a formal dispute as part of a campaign to secure justice for a group of staff who have been right at the front-line, keeping Merseyrail services running at risk to themselves throughout the coronavirus crisis.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“This is disgusting and disgraceful opportunism by Mitie on Merseyrail to use the cover of the coronaviris crisis to kick these low paid cleaning and facilities staff in the teeth. We know that the public in Merseyside will be as outraged as we are and will want to join us in a campaign to reverse this sickening decision.
“RMT's executive will now consider the political, industrial and public campaign we will be mounting and rest assured we will fight tooth and nail for pay and workplace justice for the Mitie Merseyrail workforce."