London 2012: Tube cleaners walk out in dispute over Olympic bonus
London Underground cleaners launched a 48-hour strike this morning in a dispute over an Olympic bonus payment.
Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union employed by private contractors walked out at 5.30am, mounting picket lines outside Tube stations including Stratford, close to the Olympic Park.
The union’s general secretary Bob Crow said: “With the eyes of the world on the London Olympics the many millions enjoying the events around the globe must not forget the London transport cleaners on minimum pay rates doing some of the dirtiest jobs in often appalling conditions with no Olympics recognition and reward whatsoever.
“It is these same staff who have played a key role in keeping services clean and safe who are now forced again by their employers to take action for a living wage and recognition of their Olympics efforts.
“The Olympics has to be about equality, inclusiveness and social justice and that’s what our cleaners are standing up for as the spotlight shines on London.
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“Instead of forcing our members back out onto the picket lines these profitable companies should be round the table with us negotiating a fair deal for the cleaners.”
Phil Hufton, asset performance director for London Underground, said: “This industrial dispute is between Initial and its staff.
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“We have reviewed our staffing plans and have already put contingencies in place. We anticipate no impact on London Underground services as a result of this industrial action.”