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Give us wage for clearing body parts' from Tube, urge cleaners

PUBLISHED: 12:47 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 05 October 2010

CLEANERS on the London Underground have been protesting today at City Hall for a living wage' for working conditions which include clearing up body parts from suicides. They turned up for Mayor Boris Johnson's Question Time urging him to keep to his pledge that contract workers will get the recently-increased minimum

By Mike rooke

CLEANERS on the London Underground have been protesting today at City Hall for a living wage’ for working conditions which their union claims include clearing up body parts from suicides.

They turned up for Mayor Boris Johnson’s Question Time’ urging him to keep to his pledge that workers on Transport for London contracts will get the minimum which was recently raised to £7.60-an-hour.

Cleaners working for one sub-contractor only get £6.12-an-hour, the RMT rail union claimed today.

But puzzled transport bosses insisted cleaners don’t “clear up body parts” from accidents or suicides—that’s left to specialists.

SCANDAL

The union, however, was still pressing for action from the mayor over pay and working conditions.

“It’s a scandal that some cleaners who clear up infected syringes and body parts from suicides and run the risk of infection are paid just over £6 an hour,” said rail union general secretary Bob Crow.

“But London Underground has washed its hands of the cleaners’ appalling pay and the failure to provide safe working conditions by saying it’s a matter for the private contractors. The Mayor should intervene.”

All cleaners employed by TfL contractors are paid the London Living Wage,’ Transport bosses were insisting.

LEGAL POWER

But they do not have the legal power to force Tube Lines to pay their sub-contractors’ staff the minimum wage.

“This issue is a matter for them—not TfL,” said a City Hall spokesman. “We do not have any control over the pay and conditions of Tube Lines or its sub-contractors under the terms of the public-private funding. This is a matter for Tube Lines to address and resolve.”

MP John McDonnell was due to hand in a letter calling for urgent action to help the cleaners.

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