Striking Cleaners Join Anti-Austerity Rally Tomorrow

Striking cleaners on the Tyne and Wear Metro will join up with fellow trade unionists and campaigners at an anti-austerity rally in Newcastle against attacks on jobs, pay and working conditions organized by the Coalition of Resistance.

The Metro strikers have just completed a 48 hour rock solid strike in their campaign of action against the imposition of a zero % pay award.

The “Defend Pay, Pensions and Public Services” Newcastle anti-austerity rally will be addressed by Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the PCS and Craig Johnson from RMT amongst others on Thursday 14 June 6.30pm, Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle.

During the cleaners strike action RMT secured massive public support out on the streets and stations for the fight for pay justice and Churchill’s were forced to offer scabs double money to do the cleaners jobs, proving that there is no shortage of cash.

RMT research shows that despite their plea of poverty Metro cleaning company Churchill’s has in fact doubled its profits in the past five years and has extracted nearly £7 million from the exploitation of essential cleaning staff on the most basic pay and conditions including no sick pay, no pensions and none of the travel concessions rights enjoyed by other NEXUS workers.

While the company is trying to enshrine poverty pay amongst the staff who deliver vast returns for the shareholders, its own highest paid director has had a salary increase of more than 18% in the last 5 years to nearly £160,000 making a nonsense of their claims that they can’t afford a decent offer to the front-line cleaning staff.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“RMT pays tribute to the Metro cleaners who have shown guts, determination and unity in their battle for pay justice. We have seen only this week that boardroom pay has rocketed while the workers take the hit and the Metro cleaners are a classic example of that scandal.

“It is a disgrace that Churchill’s are being allowed to get away with a poverty-pay attack on this group of key workers while the Labour-controlled transport authority sits back and does nothing.

“This exploitation has to stop and RMT intends to drag the Labour Party into the spotlight – they’ve got the power to call a halt to this scandal and it’s about time they used it.”

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