London Underground workers sacked by employment agency is taking campaign for re-instatement to the front door of the Tube operator

Tim Lezard

London-train-operators-signA group of London Underground workers sacked by an employment agency is taking a campaign for re-instatement to the front door of the Tube operator.

The RMT has accused London Underground and the agency Trainpeople of “dumping” 33 staff on the dole and of making a mockery of regulations designed to protect the employment rights of agency staff.

The “Justice for the 33” campaign is staging a protest outside the head office near Westminster of Transport for London this morning.

RMT officials say London Underground inherited a contract with the Trainpeople agency from Silverlink in 2007.

They say LU continued to use agency staff in LU uniform for 5 years while Trainpeople paid them as little as £6.75 per hour.

After the group joined the RMT, negotiators argued for the Trainpeople staff to be given equal rights with permanent staff – as stipulated in the 2010 Agency Worker Regulations.

The RMT says that rather that enforcing those regulations, LU terminated its contract with Trainpeople without warning last year, 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 and we now take the battle right to the doorstep of Transport for London.

“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 continuing with 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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