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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 April 2019

Arriva Rail North cleaners fight bosses' punitive pay arrears

Arriva Rail North cleaners organised by the RMT protesting outside Manchester Victoria station, 10.4.19, photo by Manchester Socialist Party

Arriva Rail North cleaners organised by the RMT protesting outside Manchester Victoria station, 10.4.19, photo by Manchester Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Dane Yates, Salford Socialist Party

Cleaning staff on Arriva Rail North have been told by their employer, outsourcer ISS, that they will be forced to work eleven days with pay owed in arrears. Members of transport union RMT protested outside Manchester Victoria station on 10 April.

Currently, cleaners work five days in arrears. But their bosses' unilateral decision to move the pay will mean waiting up to an extra two weeks for their wages in May.

ISS is a global cleaning and facilities company based in Denmark. It holds dozens of major contracts across Britain in both the private and public sectors, including in several major hospitals.

In 2018, ISS posted net profits of 33.5 million. Despite this, it still pays some of the lowest wages in the sector.

It's not just railway cleaners affected. ISS catering staff at hospitals across the country have been forced to use food banks while they wait for pay.

One worker on the protest told us he was advised he could ask the company for up to 300 to tide him over. But then he must begin paying this back from his next wage packet at the rate of 50 a week!

Another reported that he actually worked at Bolton station, but having heard about the protest in Manchester he "just had to come down." This was despite not getting back from work until after 11pm the previous evening, and having had to get up at 5.30am to make the protest, after which he had to jump on a train back to Bolton to start his next shift.

This two-hour protest could develop into further action, with one worker calling on the union to organise an eight-hour walkout in the coming weeks. Five workers bought a copy of the Socialist newspaper.

The Socialist Party demands that private firms are kicked out, and that public transport along with all support functions is brought into public ownership under democratic workers' control and management.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

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In The Socialist 17 April 2019:


What we think

Tories facing electoral meltdown - but only a socialist alternative to austerity can finish them off


News

100 billion for bosses - cuts for us.

Assange arrest: US and allied governments seeking revenge for exposing dirty wars

Labour looks to Bank of England to stall house prices

No-fault evictions ban, but cuts leave tenants vulnerable

Cuts drive council tax debt

Labour needs socialist policies to solve "climate emergency"


Minimum wage

20 years of the minimum wage: Fight for a real living wage for every worker


Workplace news

Newham bin workers ballot for strikes

Arriva Rail North cleaners fight bosses' punitive pay arrears

School staff demand action on pay and testing at NEU conference

Deliveroo workers protest at firm's Nottingham roadshow

PCS union: vital local strikes and a national pay ballot - vote for a fighting leadership

Unison union: right wing tries to block campaigning - elect a socialist leadership


International socialist news and analysis

Sudan: No to rule of the generals!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour councils must act now to save our schools!

Council elections - an opportunity to present a socialist alternative to cuts

Activists rally in fight for more council housing and against high rents

Alternative housing awards

'Reforms' hollow out the NUS

Youth climate strikes: Democratic organisation and socialist policies needed


Opinion

Engels' classic essential for understanding socialist ideas old and 'new'

Real life on Universal Credit: "As soon as I get billed for my electric, I'm finished"

The Socialist Inbox


 

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