Cleaners on Virgin trains de-recognised by private company offering 6p an hour pay rise

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The RMT has begun balloting all Carlisle Cleaning and Support Services members on the Virgin West Coast Main Line for strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over pay and the de-recognition of the union by the company.

The cleaners, who maintain the quality of passenger service and environment on the busy and prestigious West Coast route, have had a derisory 1% increase in pay imposed on them by Carlisle – equivalent to an extra six pence per hour.

Carlisle has also taken a decision to de-recognise RMT on the West Coast Main Line in a deliberate and cynical attempt to undermine the collective strength of the low paid cleaners providing a core service around the clock for 20 million passengers.

An Early Day Motion number 2165 has been tabled in the House of Commons by RMT Parliamentary Convenor John McDonnell as the union builds up political opposition to Carlisle’s attack on the West Coast cleaners.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “It is a scandal that on the busy and prestigious Virgin West Coast Main Line there is a co-ordinated attack by the contractor Carlisle Cleaning and Support Services aimed at imposing poverty pay and busting the union representing this core group of staff.

“Today we begin balloting for action in a dispute that goes right to the heart at all that’s wrong on Britain’s railways – fat profits for the few and an assault on pay and union rights for those doing the dirty jobs that make the system tick.

“We will be campaigning for a strong YES vote in this ballot and remain available for talks with the company to reach a solution that protects both our member’s standard of living and their basic human right to represented by an effective and independent trade union.”


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