Socialist Worker

100% for Eurostar cleaners' strike

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2169

Cleaners on the Eurostar trains at St Pancras International in London have voted by 100 percent to strike.

The members of the RMT transport union are to strike from 9.59pm on Thursday to 9.59pm on Saturday.

The mainly migrant workers struck against their previous employer OCS in August last year. They demanded pay based on the London Living Wage.

OCS then lost the cleaning contract and was replaced by Carlisle.

But their new employer has failed to make any pay offer this year and has tried to push the pay settlement date back to 2010.

It has also announced 14 compulsory redundancies at St Pancras.

Bosses have replaced traditional clocking-in machines at the station with fingerprinting machines.

Some staff have been told to use the machines even after an overwhelming vote by RMT members to boycott them.

And the workers’ RMT rep Mohammed Yellow has been suspended for months on charges that the union believes to be false.

Some workers believe that the attacks are an attempt to weaken the RMT union, whose strength at Eurostar has been built up over many years.

One of the cleaners, who has been made redundant, told Socialist Worker, “People have voted for this action because the conditions that they are working in are not good.

“People are having to work harder as the company is getting rid of people.”

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Article information

Tue 15 Sep 2009, 19:34 BST
Issue No. 2169
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