Thursday, February 16, 2006

Tube contractor axed for doing the dirty on cleaners

METRONET Rail last Monday terminated its contract with the Blue Diamond cleaning company after the Transport and General Workers’ Union informed it that Blue Diamond had been consistently withholding workers’ pay.
The TGWU, which represents cleaners on London Underground, discovered that Blue Diamond had been paying their workers £5.05 per hour despite having agreed a basic wage of £5.50 with Metronet at the start of the contract in October 2005.
Metronet agreed at a meeting with the TGWU in January to investigate and the TGWU last week welcomed Metronet’s decision to fire Blue Diamond from their prestigious cleaning contract on the District, Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City and East London lines, believed to be worth in excess of £20 million over three years.
This is the first time in 20 years that a contract has been ended due to concerns over the abuse of workers.
TGWU deputy general secretary Jack Dromey said: “Blue Diamond robbed the cleaners, ripping thousands of pounds off hard-working men and women who serve Londoners 24 hours a day. Metronet have done the decent thing, acting promptly and properly to terminate Blue Diamond’s contract.
“The TGWU is determined to end the often shameful treatment of cleaners. In London many are migrant workers. This decision demonstrates that contractors who behave badly will no longer be employed by responsible client companies. Blue Diamond did the dirty on cleaners and is paying the price.”

  • Pay victory for Parliament cleaners

CLEANERS at the Houses of Parliament last week won a significant victory in their long, well-publicised battle for decent pay.
The Transport and General Workers Union said the cleaners will now get £6.70-an-hour, statutory sick pay and 28 days’ holiday.
The campaign, which attracted widespread support from the public, MPs and peers from all political parties, involved two one-day strikes last year.
TGWU deputy general secretary Jack Dromey said: “One year ago, Parliament paid poverty wages. Now the cleaners have won a living wage and respect.”
Negotiations are continuing on implementing a pension scheme and there will be no job losses as a result of this agreement.