Cleaners at Waterloo Station are to strike again in the New Year in their continuing dispute over racism. The RMT members, employed by Interserve, say there has been a “comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations” concerning the victimisation and d …

RMT Waterloo cleanersCleaners at Waterloo Station are to strike again in the New Year in their continuing dispute over racism.

The RMT members, employed by Interserve, say there has been a “comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations” concerning the victimisation and dismissal of RMT members, an ignorance of basic employment rights and failure to follow agreed procedures, underpayment of wages and the bullying and harassment of staff

They will strike on January 6th and 12th.

RMT has written to Network Rail, who have responsibility for the Waterloo contract, sending them examples of the racism in the workplace and asking them to intervene but so far the union has had no response.

RMT has challenged Network Rail directly over their failure, and the failure of their contractors Interserve, to adhere to their own diversity policy:

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT and the entire trade union movement salutes the rock solid strike action of the Interserve workers over the past two months and their determination to secure workplace justice. Due to the intransigence of the company we now have no option but to declare a fourth wave of action.

“As travellers are heading home this Christmas Eve full of festive bonhomie they should stop and talk to the station cleaners about their shocking working conditions. Old man Scrooge is alive and well in this City on Christmas Eve 2014 and calling the shots at one of our busiest railway stations.

“The overwhelming support for continuing 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. RMT has now raised directly with Network Rail the flagrant breaches of their own diversity policies.

“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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