LONDON mayor who praised Tube cleaners again denies them free travel

Dear colleague


I advised you in a previous circular that your National Executive Committee had instructed me to write to London Mayor Sadiq Khan following TfL’s rejection of your union’s demands to provide free travel for cleaners during the Covid-19 crisis (Ref: IR/159/20, 1st May 2020).

As instructed, I wrote to the Mayor on calling on him to intervene to reverse TfL’s decision. However, the Mayor replied stating that due to the financial position of TfL and increased government oversight, “it is simply not possible at this time to make further concessions that would impact negatively on TfL’s finances”.

I can also advise that your union issued press releases in support of this campaign and published a report which highlighted the injustice of this issue and the negligible costs involved in rectifying it.

I can further advise that this demand has been raised as a key part of RMT’s wider campaign to secure the insourcing of ABM cleaners when the contract runs out in 2022. This campaign has been a regular item on the agenda of the RMT Parliamentary Group and has won the support of the London East and South East TUC, Labour MPs and London Labour Councillors and the Labour Group in the London Assembly.

Additionally, the London Mayor himself was photographed with ABM Cleaning staff when TfL announced its “enhanced cleaning regime”, in response to the Coronavirus crisis in London. The Mayor further addressed the work our cleaning members do and praised the “amazing job in these extraordinarily difficult times” and thanked them for their “commitment and service to our city”.

The matter was again considered by your NEC, which noted with disgust the London Mayor's refusal to grant free travel to ABM Cleaners. It was further noted that these members work in some of the most difficult circumstances during the Coronavirus crisis and have been again less favourably than TfL staff again in relation to Furlough Arrangements.

Your NEC stated that this matter will now be taken up and advanced as part of your union's Justice for Tube Cleaners campaign. RMT will not cease fighting for fair and decent pay and terms & conditions for our ABM Cleaning members and will continue to pursue all possible avenues to obtain this end.

All of the work our ABM members, their representatives and Lead Officer have done in the fight for fair treatment was applauded by the NEC. The struggle to achieve the same treatment as other TfL staff will continue.

I will, of course, keep you informed of any further developments