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Mitie workers backed in their fight for a living wage

OUTSOURCED cleaners at Scotland’s two biggest railway stations have been commended by MSPs in their fight for a living wage.

Cleaners employed by Mitie at Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley are calling for bosses to pay them the real living wage of £9 an hour.

Now Labour MSP Elaine Smith, who chairs rail union RMT’s parliamentary group at Holyrood, has tabled a motion in support of the cleaners.

The statement, backed by SNP and Green MSPs as well as Labour, notes that a survey of Mitie employees found half said that “they struggled to make ends meet.”

The MSPs argue that “these essential rail workers should not have to survive on poverty pay while, it believes, the Mitie Group’s shareholders have received nearly £49 million in dividends in the last five years.”

They express hope that the union’s campaign “results in justice for Mitie employees.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has spoken in support of the real living wage, saying the metric was “not only helping to ensure people’s basic pay meets the cost of living but is increasing staff retention, productivity and boosting morale in the workplace.”

Control of Network Rail is not devolved, but the state-owned infrastructure company takes part in the Scotland’s Railway management alliance with ScotRail, which is overseen by ministers at Holyrood.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT’s campaign demanding a real living wage for Mitie cleaners is gaining momentum in Scotland with political and public support now rolling in.

“It is a scandal that the staff employed by outsourcing giant Mitie who clean stations for Network Rail, doing some of the dirtiest work in the rail industry at all hours of the night and day, are struggling to make ends meet on poverty pay.”

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