63% of ‘gig economy’ track workers being used by London Underground would be unhappy about raising safety concerns about their work, for fear of not being offered future shifts, the RMT revealed today
Publishing the results of a new survey, workers who perform vital and safety-critical work on London Underground’s track, are engaged through two ‘employment agencies’, Morson and Cleshar, who put them on bogus self-employed contracts that deny them sick pay, holiday, pensions and travel facilities.
Workers' report having to monitor their phones constantly in case they are offered shifts.
75% of the workers surveyed reported struggling to make ends meet on what they earn, and two thirds said they would be unhappy about raising safety concerns for fear of not being offered work in the future.
The survey has been published in the wake of a damning report by the Rail Accidents Investigation Branch which highlighted problems with London Underground’s use of agencies after a worker was struck by a train at Chalfont Latimer in April 2022.
RMT is campaigning for these workers to be directly employed by London Underground, like other maintenance workers. The union has called on Mayor Sadiq Khan to bring them in-house as the companies’ contracts run out this year.
The union has also revealed that TfL has paid almost £550 million to these two companies since 2016-17.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “There is no excuse for subjecting these safety-critical workers to the worst employment practices of the ‘gig economy’.
"It is morally indefensible, wasteful and as this report shows, it is downright unsafe.
"Sadiq Khan should cut off the flow of valuable funds from these parasitical companies, bring the workers in-house now and ensure that they are properly employed and properly treated as the vital keyworkers they are.”
Notes: 160 track workers took part in the survey.