RMT enters dispute over continued outsourcing of Tube cleaning

RMT declares dispute over outsourced Underground cleaners following ‘stitch up’ review.

RMT has warned London mayor Sadiq Khan that it would be declaring another dispute on the Underground and balloting for strike action after it emerged that heroic Tube cleaners have been condemned to three more years of outsourcing following what the union described as “a stitch up behind closed doors”.

In a letter to the Mayor, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch condemned TfL officials for renewing a contract worth in the region of £450 million in secret using Chair’s Action between meetings. The decision was taken on March 24th and only became clear in papers published retrospectively this week.

In his Manifesto, Mayor Khan had promised to instruct TfL to review its cleaning contract with ABM, including an assessment of extending the free travel cleaners receive whilst at work to their journeys to and from work.” The decision taken this week leaves the cleaners with nothing and TfL say they still haven’t taken a decision on free travel.

In his letter, Mick Lynch says:

“I am writing to express my shock and disgust at the revelation today that the Chair of TfL’s Finance Committee took the decision to extend the outsourced cleaning contract with ABM on March 24th on ‘Chair’s Authority’, in secret, between meetings and with no published paperwork.

"This took place just 10 days after TfL Commissioner Andy Byford explicitly publicly stated, in front of the GLA Transport Committee, that any decision would have to come back before the TfL Board.

"This is deeply shocking and raises serious questions about TfL officials and the functioning of the Board. It also raises serious questions about your role.

“Who is running TfL? The democratically elected Mayor who is chair of TfL or the Commissioner of TFL who the Mayor appoints? It appears to us that unelected officers are now in charge of the capital’s transport system.

The cleaners who you are responsible for deserve better than this and I give notice that the RMT will be declaring a dispute and balloting our cleaning members for industrial action. “

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