Socialist Worker

RMT accuses contractor of victimising reps

Issue No. 2134

The RMT transport union is accusing the ISS contractor of “victimising” its cleaning reps on London Underground.

The cleaners launched a fight last year and struck to demand decent pay from the different contractors that employ them.

This forced the companies to concede the idea of the London Living Wage of £7.45 an hour for all their workers.

But ISS has suspended and dismissed a number of RMT reps since the end of the dispute.

RMT members and campaigners joined a lobby in support of dismissed cleaner Mary Boayke and the disciplined cleaners’ secretary Clara Osagiede outside ISS’s offices in Greenwich, south east London, on Thursday of last week.

At different hearings, all the charges against Clara were dismissed, but the company upheld Mary’s dismissal.

Mary was sacked after management accused her of sleeping during work hours.

She had explained that she had closed her eyes because she had an eye injury. She was at work because cleaners don’t get sick pay.

Clara told Socialist Worker, “It’s terrible what has happened to Mary. There has been a backlash since we won the living wage.

“The companies want to get rid of some activists and silence others.

“But they won’t stop our struggle.”

Olly New, the RMT national executive member for London transport, told Socialist Worker, “Some companies are taking the opportunity to victimise those who have stood up against them. Union reps and activists are now targets.

“John McDonnell MP and Tony Benn have both written to ISS telling it to stop this treatment of union reps. We are putting the company in the spotlight with our campaign.”

Steve Hedley, the RMT London regional organiser, said, “This is the victimisation of our reps, who the company are trying to pick off one by one. The RMT is organising another protest at ISS’s offices on Wednesday of this week over Mary’s sacking.”


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News
Tue 13 Jan 2009, 18:37 GMT
Issue No. 2134
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