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Posted on 19 February 2013 at 16:19 GMT

RMT security and safety staff strike against bullying and harassment and an attempt to impose workplace changes without agreement 25th February 2013, photo Paul Mattsson

RMT security and safety staff strike against bullying and harassment and an attempt to impose workplace changes without agreement 25th February 2013, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Security workers on London Overground strike against 'slave conditions'

Demanding decent pay and working conditions and a proper contract, Travel Safe Officers, members of the RMT union, went on strike on Thursday 28th February.

Socialist Party members and NSSN supporters joined them at their strike protest outside the HQ of Transport for London.

In the strikers own words:

"We are all employees of a company named STM Security Group UK Limited, which is a contractor of London Overground.

Since February 2012 we are in dispute with STM because we are being victimised and been deprived of basic needs such as water, uniforms, mess rooms, toilets, pay rise, sick pay, sometimes holiday entitlements, etc.

Furthermore, for the last three and a half years we are working on a role called Travel Safe Officers without having any contract and no guaranteed hours.

In July 2012, we won the voting held in Swiss Cottage (London Overground House) against our company and gave the right to RMT to negotiate with STM and London Overground for our welfare.

Without going into details of so many unfruitful meetings with STM, we are still empty-handed; the reason is that STM management is not in a state of mind to pay any attention or to listen to our basic needs or concerns.

The struggle is on and day by day we are getting frustrated and disappointed, but we are still composed with high morale.

We won't surrender until we get something to secure our future. The slavery should go and rights should be given."

One of the chants on the picket today was "bring us back in-house". These appalling conditions are the reality of privatisation, and a clear attempt by the employer to exploit mainly migrant workers.

But they weren't reckoning on these workers joining a militant trade union and getting organised!

Paula Mitchell

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 28 February 2013 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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