Thursday, April 12, 2007

London news round-up

Cleaners call Ken’s bluff

RAIL and Tube cleaners last week staged a demonstration outside City Hall calling for a “living wage” of £7.20 an hour.
The protest comes after mayor Ken Livingstone announced that the amount should be set as a minimum for those working and living in London.
The transport union RMT says maintenance companies should set minimum standards of pay on subcontractors who employ the cleaners.
But the firms say they already work with subcontractors to ensure fair pay.
A spokesperson for the mayor said: “The living wage should be paid by the maintenance companies, Metronet and Tubelines, to these employees from the huge profits they make each year from the Public Private Partnership.
“The cost should not fall on London taxpayers and passengers,” he said.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Low pay among Tube and Rail cleaners is an absolute scandal and we insist on decent minimum employment standards.
“That means £7.20 an hour as the absolute minimum and a guarantee of 28 days’ holiday.”

Stop the fascists

The British National Party last week announced it is to stand a record 880 candidates in the May local elections and they believe they can win 100 seats. John Cruddas, the Labour MP for Dagenham where the BNP won 11 seats last year, has warned that the fascists are targeting poorer areas and hoping to take votes from Labour.
The anti-fascist organisation Searchlight has identified 92 wards that could fall to the BNP.
The most effective way of stopping this happening is to join the growing army of active anti-fascists and trade unionists going door-to-door, countering the lies and disinformation that the BNP canvassers are telling people on their doorsteps. It is important that every one of our readers who can should join them. Contact the campaign on the