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RAILWAY cleaners must be brought into the direct employment of train-operating companies, the RMT AGM heard today.
Delegates unanimously endorsed a call to campaign for sick pay entitlement for all cleaners, and heard warnings that bosses were targeting migrant workers over their immigration status.
London Underground Bakerloo line delegate Jim McDaid said: “What we’ve got is exploitation of the working class in clear view. There’s only one solution and that’s to bring these roles back in-house.
“Not only do they deserve sick pay, they deserve travel expenses and travelcards.”
RMT assistant general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Cleaners are getting their profile together and getting themselves heard in the union.
“We owe them the solidarity, those of us that are working in-house — our pay claims have to include clauses for the cleaners.
“We’re saying we must have a charter of standards for the [contracted] employers that are under the umbrella [of each train-operating company] until we bring them in-house.”
Speaking up for ethnic minority workers, Finsbury Park delegate Glenroy Watson accused employers of targeting them and making unreasonable demands for documentation.
“The reality is, what people are asking for is dignity,” he said.
Mr Lynch concurred: “We can’t tolerate someone being hoicked out of a country, hoicked out of a job … told that you’re illegal.”
A second motion endorsed by the conference noted that the railway workforce is increasingly at risk from the use of a “hidden army” of foreign cleaners in the industry.
It called for a “procedure that makes the right to work issue easier to deal with and not a nightmare that makes life even more complex.”
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