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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 September 2008

Swansea rail workers

Fighting for a living wage

SIXTEEN train cleaners, members of the RMT, have been involved in a one-day strike for better pay and conditions at Swansea's High Street railway station. The cleaners are employed by ISS, a contractor for First Great Western, a company notorious for bad pay and poor conditions.

Alec Thraves spoke to RMT rep Ian Fynch on the picket line:

"At the moment our lowest-paid members are getting just 5.82 an hour, with no shift allowance. This means if they work a Sunday they only get the bare time, seven hours, which is wrong!

"We are asking for the same increase as the First Great Western workers, 5.1%, because we are doing exactly the same work as them. Swansea is the only depot out of the three Great Western depots in the country being run by ISS and wages at the other two are around 25,000 a year! These workers deserve the same because they are doing exactly the same work as those depots."

Another picket, Laurence explained the difficulties of the job: "As well as watering the trains, cleaning the mess in the toilets and mopping up vomit, we also have to put up with a lot of abuse from customers.

"One of the lads recently tried to wake up a drunken passenger who had remained on the train at Swansea. He was abused and had the passenger's dog set on him. When trains come in late we have to try and clean around passengers who have already boarded and end up getting a mouthful off them as well."

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In The Socialist 17 September 2008:


Credit crunch

It's time to fight back!


Socialist Party editorial

Capitalist crisis - Karl Marx was right


Anti-racism

No to racism: Yes to decent jobs, homes & services!


Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist candidate gains 40% of vote, stuns Usdaw leaders

Conflict in Georgia - independent position needed

Brown's feeble fuel package


Labour Party conference protest

Protest at war and occupation

Welcome to the real Manchester

Fighting city needs a fighting party

Panicky MPs turn on Labour


Privatisation and closure

No to post office closures

Protesters tackle Metro privatisation


Socialist Party feature

Middle East: End imperialist aggression!


Socialist Party workplace news

London bus strike: "Showing them our power"

Pickets cheer in West London

Ford workers meet to defend jobs

Journalists win union recognition victory

2008 Trades Union Congress: Pressure from below begins to show

Swansea rail workers fighting for a living wage

fastnews


International socialist news and analysis

Interview with Cindy Sheehan: "Some kind of populist uprising needs to happen"

Scotland: Tactical questions for local government pay battle


Socialist Party review

'Bob Marley' reviewed by Jason Toynbee


 

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Related links:

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triangleRMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

triangleStrike against driver-only operation on five rail networks

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triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Report from Socialist Party congress

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triangleMerseyrail protest

triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

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triangleGerman engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

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