Socialist Worker

City cleaners' fight for pay justice targets a new company

Issue No. 2030

Over 100 cleaners protested outside the headquarters of the financial multinational Merrill Lynch on Monday.

The protest was part of the T&G union’s Justice for Cleaners campaign. Over the past two weeks the union has organised a number of demonstrations and stunts aimed at companies who use the ISS cleaning agency.

The union says that talks with ISS are going well, and so have moved on to target Lancaster, a British cleaning agency that is responsible for cleaning the offices of the Royal Bank of Scotland and Merrill Lynch among others.

Celestino, a cleaner on the demonstration, said, “Things need to be better for cleaners. We need to be treated and paid better. These companies make so much money and we get so little – all we want is to be treated properly.”

The cleaners get no sick pay, the legal minimum holidays, low pay and no pension while the companies make billions.

Cleaners working for Lancaster are paid £6.70 an hour and want a London living wage, currently set at £7.05 an hour.

 Tony Woodley, the T&G union’s general secretary told the demonstration, “Corporate greed means that there are cleaners having to take two and even three jobs to make ends meet in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

“A fraction of the money going to one of these executives would ensure cleaners are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

The RMT union protested in London on Monday calling on Transport for London to step in to prevent a move that would cost 100 jobs at ISS. This would result in dirtier stations and trains on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.

 For more information on demonstrations this week go to

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Sat 9 Dec 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2030
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