RMT members working for TrainPeople face losing their jobs as company loses contract

Tim Lezard

RMTRMT members working on London Underground’s “Trainpeople” agency contract have voted unanimously for strike action over the termination of a deal which will dump dozens of staff on the dole and which makes a mockery of regulations which were supposed to protect the employment rights of agency staff.

London Underground inherited a contract with the Trainpeople agency from Silverlink in 2007. In breach of agreements with unions, for five years LU continued to use agency staff in LU uniform while Trainpeople paid them as little as £6.75 per hour.

Trainpeople staff joined RMT and organised for equal rights with permanent staff as supposedly stipulated in the 2010 Agency Worker Regulations. Then, without warning, LU terminated its contract with the Trainpeople Agency leaving staff facing the immediate prospect of losing their livelihoods.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “The way that “Trainpeople” have used and abused a group of workers who have been “temporary” for five years is a disgrace and RMT will not sit back while this exploitation is allowed to fester on London Underground. The staff themselves have shown their determination to fight for justice in this unanimous vote for strike action which will now be considered by RMT’s executive as we move this campaign forwards.

“This dispute also makes a mockery of regulations that are supposed to protect agency staff but which cynical employers can duck and weave their way around with the connivance of both the EU and the British government.

“RMT wants permanent and direct employment for these low paid workers and we are setting out on a major campaign to achieve just that.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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