RMT Demands Fresh Pay Talks As Eurostar Cleaners Vote To Strike
STRIKES BY some 150 cleaners on three contracts across the Channel tunnel network have come a step closer after RMT members voted by overwhelming margins for industrial action in a bid to raise appallingly low pay levels.
The union has demanded fresh talks with subcontracting employers OCS and Initial after workers on the OCS Eurostar contract and Initial’s Eurostar and the Network Rail Channel tunnel rail link contracts endorsed action with only two votes cast against.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:
“Our members have spoken with one voice on all three of these contracts, and it should be quite clear to OCS and Initial, as well as Eurostar and Network Rail, that the era of poverty pay for cleaners must come to an end.
“The offers so far on the table from OCS and Initial would all amount to a real-terms pay cut and are way below what our low-paid members need to secure a fair and just income, and way below the standard set by the London Living Wage.
“Both contractors have made substantial profits on the backs of low-paid staff who do a difficult and crucial job in keeping the Eurostar moving, and we are calling on them to return to the table for serious talks, or face the prospect of strike action.
“Eurostar made more than £92 million in profits last year, way ahead of its own target, and they and Network Rail have a moral obligation to ensure that workers on the Channel tunnel network do not suffer this kind of super-exploitation.”