17 February 2020
RMT Press Office
RMT welcomes support for Underground cleaners from Labour Assembly candidates
TUBE UNION RMT today welcomed news that the majority of Labour’s prospective candidates to the London Assembly support the union’s campaign to end the privatisation of London Underground cleaners.
As voting closes in the process of finalising Labour’s candidates to contest the London Assembly elections in May, RMT published a statement calling on Mayor Sadiq Khan to bring put an end to the scandalous outsourcing of Underground cleaning and bring the 2000 cleaners into direct employment.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said,
“The Tube is used by more than 2 million people each day and Londoners rely on the hard, dirty and hazardous work of these 2000 cleaners to keep the network clean, hygienic and safe to travel on.
“Yet shamefully TfL has outsourced these workers to a company that’s cutting jobs and making them work harder while it doesn’t give them sick pay or decent pensions. That’s just wrong and I’m delighted that just over a week after 100 Labour councillors signed a letter to Sadiq on this issue, so many of Labour’s Assembly shortlist agree with us.
“We’re calling on the Mayor to make a commitment to bring these workers in-house now.”
Public Statement - end privatisation of cleaning on London Underground and London Overground
We the undersigned believe that the collapse of companies like Carillion and Interserve has shown that outsourcing is both inefficient and unfair to workers.
We note with concern that Transport for London has privatised cleaning on London Underground, handing it to global outsourcing company ABM, while London Overground has outsourced cleaning to Vinci. Despite working unsocial hours in dirty, hazardous conditions, these cleaners are treated less favourably than directly employed workers.
We further note that a recent RMT union survey of ABM cleaners revealed that the overwhelming majority of cleaner struggle to make ends meet, believe that ABM put profits ahead of passenger and staff concerns, and overwhelmingly want to be directly employed.
We urge the London Mayor to commit to end the privatisation of cleaning and bring this work in-house.
Aghileh Djafari Marbini
On 6 February, 94 London Labour Councillors called on the Mayor to commit to bringing these workers back into direct employment in a letter to the Evening Standard.
More than 20 MPs have also supported the campaign in a motion tabled by London Labour MP Apsana Begum.