24 July 2013
RMT press release…
TRANSPORT CLEANERS on the Tyne and Wear Metro end two weeks of strike action on Thursday (25th July) with a mass protest outside a meeting of the transport authority as RMT continues the all-out fight for pay justice for some of the lowest paid workers in the UK transport industry.
After the past two weeks of rock-solid strike action , RMT Churchill Tyne and Wear Metro Cleaners will again take their case to end poverty pay and obtain a living wage to the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority that meets on THURSDAY 25th July 2013 at Newcastle Civic Centre at 10am – the cleaners will gather outside the Civic Centre from 9.30am.
The Churchill’s Tyne and Wear Metro Cleaners fight (which is now over a year old) is thought to be the longest running industrial dispute in the UK and has involved over 30 days of strike action. Churchill’s is the contract cleaning company for DB Regio that, since its privatisation, has operated Tyne and Wear Metro on behalf of the Transport Authority.
In support of the cleaners, MP’s have tabled an Early Day Motion, demanding to know just how much money Deutsche Bahn are extracting from the NEXUS/Metro contract off the backs of low-paid British workers to subsidise state operated railways in Germany.
The Common’s motion notes that:
“…….the contracting company DB Schenker increasing its profits by 240 per cent; is appalled that, as DB Schenker is owned by German state railways, profits that could be used to pay the living wage and boost the North East economy are instead being used to support the German economy…”
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“The Local Authorities in Tyne and Wear – who all have representatives on the Transport Authority – Newcastle City, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland and are all Labour dominated, should hang their heads in shame. On Thursday they will be confronted by the transport cleaners whose poverty pay they have happily tolerated while DB Regio have milked the Metro contract to subsidise their operations in Germany
“Whilst some Labour politicians have proudly supported the living wage and the RMT campaign in the North East, their colleagues on the Transport Authority have institutionalised poverty pay for Metro Cleaners through privatisation and contracting out. This fight for justice for this brave and determined group of workers, whose only demand is a living wage and decent working conditions, will continue to rage on.”