Cleaners Force John Laing To Recognise RMT On London Overground Contract

RMT CLEANERS have forced contractor John Laing Integrated Services to recognise the union on London Overground following an organising campaign that has seen the vast majority of the workforce join the union since the end of March.

A ballot carried out under Central Arbitration Committee rules after the firm refused to enter into a voluntary agreement returned a six-to-one vote to give RMT bargaining rights for the staff, who work from depots at Acton, Gospel Oak, New Cross Gate and Willesden.

The union has been waging a long-term campaign to win better terms for transport cleaners who have seen their pay and working conditions squeezed massively by hard-nosed sub-contractors since rail privatisation 15 years ago.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:

“This is another major milestone in our campaign to win better pay, conditions and rights for a group of workers who have been hammered by privatisation.

“Our reps at John Laing deserve massive credit for a determined organising campaign that began only in March, supported by organisers and activists from across the RMT family.

“By getting organised they have already won back-pay owed from the introduction of the London Living Wage in 2007, and will now be able to negotiate on other key issues – not least on pay and conditions.

“This has been a textbook campaign and the whole team should be congratulated for showing what can be done, but it remains a shameful reality that privateers and even public bodies have taken full advantage of fragmentation and subcontracting to drive down pay and conditions.”