Mayor Boris Johnson to face more pressure over London Living Wage for tube cleaners at Mayor’s questions

richardLONDON MAYOR Boris Johnson will come under renewed pressure at Mayor’s Questions today (Wednesday September 9) over his failure to ensure that cleaners working for contractors on London Underground receive the London Living Wage that they are entitled to.

The issue will be raised today by Labour GLA Leader Val Shawcross as part of an on-going campaign by tube union RMT to get the cleaners the London Living Wage that they deserve.

At least 500 cleaners employed by ISS on the Tube Lines contract are paid £6.15 per hour, £1.30 below the 2008 London Living Wage of £7.45 per hour. The Mayor has publicly embraced the necessity of a London Living Wage to ensure that low paid Londoners are kept above the poverty threshold and has endorsed an improved London Living Wage this year of £7.60 per hour. However, many tube cleaners, within the Mayor’s own jurisdiction, have been left out in the cold.

Concerted action by RMT cleaning grade members last year succeeded in winning £7.45 per hour on contracts across the Underground network. However, cleaners working for ISS on the Tube Lines contract do not benefit from this rate of pay because ISS has told the RMT that the second stage uplift of £1.30 cannot now be funded, thus breaking the commitment given to the Union’s negotiators. The RMT has called upon the Mayor as Chair of Transport for London, to intervene to ensure this £1.30 is made good without delay.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:

“The fact is the Mayor has overall responsibility for London Underground and over 500 workers employed to clean the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines are not paid the London Living Wage. Through the PPP arrangements, Tube Lines receives taxpayer subsidy. Boris Johnson has a responsibility to ensure that a private company, sustained by public subsidy, is not guilty of exploiting a workforce in its supply chain.

The RMT also continues to campaign against the horrendous working conditions that cleaners on London Underground must endure and we have again called upon the Mayor to use his powers to force London Underground and the cleaning contractors to provide basic facilities for all staff.”

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