by Tim Lezard Cleaners at Waterloo Station are today on strike over a range of issues in what the RMT calls a”comprehensive breakdown” in industrial relations. The RMT members, employed by Interserve, are taking action over the unwarranted victimisatio …

Tim Lezard

Waterloo stationby Tim Lezard

Cleaners at Waterloo Station are today on strike over a range of issues in what the RMT calls a”comprehensive breakdown” in industrial relations.

The RMT members, employed by Interserve, are taking action over the unwarranted victimisation and dismissal of RMT members, the ignorance of basic employment rights and failure to follow agreed procedures,     underpayment of wages, bullying and harassment of staff.

The union has also received reports of shocking racism by local Interserve managers that the company has refused point blank to address through agreed procedures. They include one manager telling a member of staff that in their opinion “[Interserve] should not employ black people”.

The strike runs from 3pm today until 3pm tomorrow, and again from 3pm on Friday until 3pm on Saturday.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The appalling treatment of cleaners at the busy and iconic Waterloo Station is nothing short of a disgrace and has led to a complete breakdown in industrial relations which left RMT with no option other than to ballot for strike action. This union has rarely come across a more vindictive and aggressive approach to low-paid staff, doing some of the most under-valued work on our railways, and the situation at Waterloo shames London.

“The overwhelming vote for action shows clearly that this determined and organised group of staff are not going to put up with the outrageous culture of racism, bullying and harassment and they deserve the full support of the entire labour and trade union movement..

“These staff are doing dirty jobs in often appalling conditions and the very least that they can expect is to be treated with dignity and respect. Not only are our members being denied the most basic levels of fair treatment and workplace rights but they are being subjected to a daily regime of bullying, victimisation and harassment which includes disgraceful incidents of racist abuse.

“Interserve, and Waterloo Station itself, cannot sweep this situation under the carpet. RMT is demanding workplace justice for the cleaners at Waterloo and the union remains available for talks aimed at securing 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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