Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/535/4172
Tube cleaners ballot for action
Cleaners working for private contractors on London Underground are balloting for strike action over pay and conditions. These RMT members are currently on scandalously low rates of around £5.50 an hour.
They are balloting over action to fight for the London 'living wage' of £7.20 an hour, 28 days holiday a year, sick pay and decent pensions and travel facilities.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "It is nonsense that cleaning contractors who make millions cannot afford to pay a living wage to the people who do some of the dirtiest and most difficult jobs on the Tube, and the time has come to start bringing cleaning back in-house".
The ballot of over 700 workers closes on 19 June.
Insult to postal workers
Royal Mail have just published their financial results, revealing a pay, pensions and bonuses package worth £3 million for chief executive Adam Crozier. This is remarkable, given that Royal Mail keep claiming they are in financial crisis and that postal workers are over-paid.
It seems like an iron rule - the worse the service gets, the more the chief executive gets paid - and the workers get the blame.
Paying the hand that bites you
Nearly all the £3.1 million raised by the Labour Party in the first quarter of this year has come from the trade unions, the Electoral Commission has revealed. The five highest donations, totalling £1.9 million, came from Unite, Usdaw and the GMB. The Tories and Liberals can still rely on big donations from rich individuals but these have been drying up for Labour, which is now £17.8 million in debt.
Rather than bailing out the Labour Party by using the hard-earned cash of their often low-paid members, it is time the trade unions began to discuss how to build a party that really represents workers.
In The Socialist 28 May 2008:
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party women
Youth and crime
Socialist Party feature
International socialist analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news