Staff at Carlisle Cleaning and Support Services vote 94% to strike over pay and union recognition

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MORE THAN 300 cleaners employed by Carlisle Cleaning and Support Services on the Virgin West Coast Mainline contract are set to strike on October 28 after voting by a massive 94 per cent for action on pay and union recognition.

RMT members on the contract will also refuse to empty train effluent tanks or refill fresh water tanks between 18:00 on November 4 and 17:59 on November 6.

The low-paid cleaners, who maintain the quality of passenger service and environment on the busy and prestigious West Coast route, have had a one-per-cent increase – a real-terms pay cut worth just 6p and hour – imposed on them by Carlisle.

Carlisle has also moved to de-recognise RMT on the contract in an attempt to undermine the collective strength of cleaners who provide a core service around the clock for 20 million passengers.

Some 23 MPs have signed Early Day Motion number 2165, tabled in the House of Commons by RMT parliamentary Convenor John McDonnell, which calls on the company to step back from its confrontational stance and pay a living wage.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “Our members on Carlisle’s Virgin West Coast contract have made it crystal clear with a massive mandate for action that they will not accept a real-terms cut in their already low pay, and will not tolerate their union being de-recognised.

“Carlisle has compounded the insult of imposing one per cent on pay this year by suggesting that it might give two per cent next year. That cannot even be described as jam tomorrow, and our reps have already rejected it.

“Carlisle needs to get real, and instead of futile attempts at busting the union should get around the table and negotiate a pay deal that provides fair pay and dignity for the people who do the dirty and difficult job that provides the company with its profits.”


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