Socialist Worker

Tyne and Wear Metro cleaners strike back

by Nick Clarke
Issue No. 2342

Cleaners on the Tyne and Wear Metro struck for seven days last week in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Around 100 members of the RMT union and their supporters picketed Newcastle Central Station on Thursday evening.

They were joined by General Secretary Bob Crow.

The cleaners are employed by private company Churchill, subcontractors to train operator DB Regio.

The dispute began in June last year when the cleaners struck for 48 hours over an offer of a 0 percent pay increase.

Aside from a living wage, the cleaners are also demanding free travel passes.

Paul one of the strikers, told Socialist Worker, “Everyone else who works on the Metro, such as the drivers, get free travel passes from DB Regio.

“But Churchill won’t buy them for us.”

Another striker, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Socialist Worker about the working conditions on the Metro.

“I left school 41 years ago. This is the worst company I’ve worked for since then.

“We’re treated like second class citizens.”

There have been a number of redundancies and dismissals since the dispute began.

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Article information

Tue 26 Feb 2013, 16:52 GMT
Issue No. 2342
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