Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The following story and appeal comes originally from the British National Union of Rail, Marine and Transport Workers (RMT Union). The online solidarity site Labour Start has been asked by the RMT to broadcast their solidarity appeal further. Here's the story from the pges of the RMT site.
RMT CLEANERS working on the Eurostar contract for the Carlisle Group at St Pancras International are rock solid this morning in their support for a 48 hour strike which started at 21.59 hours last night.:
The cleaners - who are fighting a pay freeze, a threat of redundancies, the introduction of Orwellian finger-printing machines and the victimisation of a union rep – have mounted a noisy mass picket at St Pancras International this morning.

Carlisle Group have recruited a temporary, scab workforce on a higher rate of pay to try and break the RMT strike. Despite that, trains had to be sent back to the depot last night to try and get them cleaned for this morning.

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said today:

“Despite a campaign of intimidation our members have stood rock solid in this strike and have shown that they will not be bullied into submission.

“The treatment of these cleaners, who are mainly from black and minority ethnic communities, by the Carlise Group is nothing short of a scandal.

“Staff working for Carlisle Group, cleaning the modern and high tech Eurostar trains at St Pancras International, have been subjected to some of the most draconian working conditions in the entire UK transport industry. It’s like a cross between the Dark Ages and 1984.“We cannot have a situation where cleaners preparing the high profile, flagship Eurostar fleet of trains are treated by the private cleaning company engaged by Eurostar in this disgraceful way.

“These are first class cleaners treated like third class citizens and we will be turning up the heat in this fight for justice for Carlisle Group staff carrying out essential services on the Eurostar.”
There is a link on the RMT website for you to send a protest to the Carlisle Group management, but you can also send the following letter via THIS LINK at Labour Start.
I am emailing in support of the RMT Eurostar cleaners employed by the Carlisle Group and their fight for the London Living Wage, justice and respect. I am calling on Eurostar to intervene in this dispute, which is now a global trade union campaign, to ensure that the staff who clean your trains are rewarded with decent wages and working conditions.

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