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Transferred GWR cleaners to stage 2 24-hour strikes

CLEANERS on Great Western Railway (GWR) are to stage two 24-hour strikes in a dispute over pay and conditions, the RMT announced yesterday.

The workers are employed by Servest UK, one of the labyrinthine network of contractors and subcontractors used by rail operators since the privatisation of Britain’s rail network.

Members are in dispute over pay, annual leave, safety, and the exploitation by rail privateers of agency workers.

They will down mops from 6am on Friday and the same time next week following an overwhelming 98 per cent vote in favour of strike action.

The dispute involves almost 200 workers.Their jobs were transferred from one contractor, Mitie, to Servest UK in a deal with GWR.

The union is calling for agency workers to be made members of GWR staff to end the current situation of a two-tier workforce.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Our cleaner members have voted decisively for action on GWR.

“RMT will not stand by while they are mercilessly exploited by privateers while rail companies fill their coffers as fares soar through the roof.

“GWR and Servest UK need to do the right thing and immediately resolve the issues relating from the transfer of staff and bring these workers back in-house so that they are on the same terms and conditions as the rest of the staff.

“The union remains available for talks.”

The cleaners’ action follows a success by their counterparts on Virgin West Coast main line, who won their battle against compulsory redundancies after voting to strike.

GWR operates services between London, the Midlands, the south-west and west of England and Wales.

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