RMT strike due to take place on 10 September. Union says train operators ‘have moral responsibility’ to ensure decent treatment for contractors. (Pictured, RMT cleaners on strike, London, February 2012)

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Low-paid cleaners on the East Coast mainline working for ISS are to strike for 24 hours on 10 September, after a 98% vote for action.

(Pictured: RMT cleaners on strike, London, February 2012. Pic by Guy Smallman)

The RMT says their employer, ISS, has offered staff no pay rise for three years.

They will be joined on strike by cleaners at the same company working on London Midland services, where a 24-hour stoppage has already been held at depots in Bletchley, Northampton and King’s Heath.

In both disputes, the union says ISS has failed to respond to calls for a living wage for workers who it says play a key role in maintaining rail services.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “ISS boasts on its website about how fairly it treats its workers, but behind the corporate claims is the sordid reality of effective pay cuts being imposed year-on-year on cleaners already on rock-bottom rates.

“ISS should be ashamed, but East Coast and London Midland also have a moral responsibility to ensure that the people who work on their contracts area treated decently, and it is no good hiding behind the shabby excuse that cleaners’ pay is a matter for the contractors.

“ISS should take note of the clear anger of its staff and cough up a decent pay offer, and East Coast and London Midland should get their heads out of the sand and recognise their own responsibility to make sure it happens – or better still, bring the contracts back in-house.”

RMT officials say only a single vote was cast opposing strike action.


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