RMT Rebuttal of Boris Johnson’s comments on cleaners on the London Underground
The RMT has been advised that Jenny Jones AM pressed Boris Johnson on Wednesday at Mayor’s Question Time that TfL should meet with Tubelines and RMT on the London Living Wage.
He reportedly responded that there were 50 cleaners who were not in receipt of the London Living Wage but that has now been resolved satisfactorily.
This comment requires urgent clarification from the Mayor. It certainly does not describe the situation with cleaners working for ISS on the TubeLines contract – the focal point of the RMT demonstration at City Hall on Wednesday. These cleaners are not paid the London Living Wage. He could be referring to the new contract agreed by TubeLines for tile floor cleaning, yet neither do these staff benefit from the London Living Wage.
RMT members, supported by MPs John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn and Valerie Shawcross AM, were taking action at City Hall on Wednesday because at least 500 cleaners employed by ISS on the Tube Lines contract are paid £6.15 per hour, £1.30 below the 2008 London Living Wage of £7.45 per hour. The Mayor has rightly embraced the necessity of a London Living Wage to ensure that low paid Londoners are kept above the poverty threshold and has endorsed an improved London Living Wage this year of £7.60 per hour.
Concerted action by RMT cleaning grade members last year succeeded in winning £7.45 per hour on contracts across the Underground network. However, cleaners working for ISS on the Tube Lines contract do not benefit from this rate of pay because ISS has told the RMT that the second stage uplift of £1.30 cannot now be funded, thus breaking the commitment given to the Union’s negotiators. The RMT has called upon the Mayor as Chair of Transport for London, to intervene to ensure this £1.30 is made good without delay.
The fact is the Mayor has overall responsibility for London Underground and over 500 workers employed to clean the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines are not paid the London Living Wage.
The RMT also continues to campaign against the horrendous working conditions that cleaners on London Underground must endure and we have again called upon the Mayor to use his powers to force London Underground and the cleaning contractors to provide basic facilities for all staff.