Justice for cleaners - RMT day of action
Thursday, 13th of October '16

DEMONSTRATE: 10am, City Hall (The Queen's Walk, SE1 2AA, London Bridge Tube), and 3pm, Interserve HQ (1-3 College Hill, EC4R 2RA, Cannon Street Tube).

Bring flags, banners, and noisemakers.

Every day, more than 3,000 cleaning workers clean stations, depots, trains, and other facilities to ensure London Underground can run.

These workers are low paid and in unstable employment. Cleaning work on the Tube is outsourced, and the contractors - such as ISS and Interserve - sub-contract to agencies such as AGS, who pressure workers into registering as "limited liability companies". This web of outsourcing means cleaners' working lives are often uncertain.


I am an agency cleaner on London Underground. The main cleaning company, Interserve, has recently made some changes which mean we are now cleaning four stations, rather than being attached to one station, as previously. Working across four stations in the same eight-hour shift is simply impractical. We have a one-hour unpaid break, but this is often interrupted.

I work six days a week; my feet cannot withstand the daily load of covering the distance between the four stations. I have an app on my phone that measures steps and distances. I'm walking more than 10km per day. Often we're doing this while carrying heavy bags of rubbish. My knees are starting to hurt.

Interserve's job-cutting experiment has failed. We do not have time to do all our work, and the stations are getting very dirty. These cuts help no-one except Interserve's profits, and many cleaners are afraid that these new ways of working will damage our health.

- An anonymous account from an RMT cleaner who works on London Underground

Recently, both major cleaning companies have made significant cuts. Many Interserve cleaners have gone from cleaning one station to cleaning four. They have no access to staff travel passes or proper sick pay or pension arrangements. Short payment is endemic, with many cleaners being short paid in every single pay packet.

RMT is campaigning for justice for cleaners. We are taking the fight to City Hall and the cleaning companies themselves to demand:

  • Reverse the cuts: restore staffing levels, no cleaner should have to cover four stations!
  • Pay £10/hour
  • Staff travel passes for cleaners
  • End short payment: pay in full, on time, every time
  • Direct employment for all cleaners

Our ultimate demand is for cleaning to be taken back in house and for cleaners to be employed directly by London Underground/TfL rather than outsourced contractors.

On 13 October, RMT will hold two demonstrations to press these demands.

Join us at 10am outside City Hall (The Queen's Walk, SE1 2AA, London Bridge Tube), and at 3pm outside Interserve HQ (1-3 College Hill, EC4R 2RA, Cannon Street Tube). Bring flags, banners, and noisemakers.

For more info contact us here.