CATP was begun in the late 1990s, following the announcement of privatisation plans for the London Underground by New Labour. These plans meant the break-up of the unified tube system, founded in 1933 as the London Passenger Transport Board.
CATP has always worked closely with the RMT and other unions and organisations which share our campaigning interests.
CATP represents supporters of:
Newsletter August 2008
LONDON´S TUBE CLEANERS NEED PASSENGERS SUPPORT
Plus other news from the Tube.
Over 700 RMT Tube cleaners have taken 3 days strike action earlier this summer. They had achieved a 99.2% ballot for action to win the London living wage and decent conditions from their employers, private contractors.
While these cleaning companies are given millions from our fares and taxes by the Government, most cleaners get only £5.52 an hour and need 2 or 3 full-time jobs to survive in London. The private contractors give our cleaners no sick pay, pension or holiday and no free travel between stations, basic conditions for all other Tube workers.
Our cleaners are also subject to bullying and intimidation at work, including repeated National Insurance and immigration checks. The private companies sack them without any procedure or union representation , "third party" sackings, an easy way to get rid of trades union activists. Most cleaners are from ethnic minority communities. Their treatment is a blight on London.
As you might expect, during the previous 3 days of strike action, they were subject to extreme intimidation by the bosses who used strike-breakers; RMT members were threatened with the sack if they dared to strike. Yet the RMT cleaners showed solidarity in their struggle for dignity and respect; they were even able to recruit new members during the strike days!
BORIS JOHNSON - DIVIDE AND RULE OF THE MOST EXPLOITED
This is the first time the cleaners have ever taken strike action and their action is already having some effect. In July, with the support of other RMT members, CATP and other supporters, they demonstrated outside the Mayor´s Question Time at City Hall. Boris Johnson promised publicly £7.45 for Underground cleaners by August "at the latest". When asked if he meant ALL the cleaners, he did not answer, But, when the public had gone, he said the London living wage of £:7.45 was only for cleaners in SOME of the contracts. Others would get it next year at some point; and for rest, who work for Tubelines (which makes £ 1 million-a-week profit) he claimed he could do nothing at all.
But as mayor, he has the power to give all cleaners not only the London living wage, but also very moderate demands (like sick pay and 28 days holiday a year) on working conditions.
Divide-and-rule is a favourite tactic for those in power.
So the RMT cleaners are asking for YOUR SUPPORT
CATP knows the cleaning of our Tube is a health and safety issue for passengers - remember the consequences of the rubbish pile- up in the King´s Cross Fire.
What can you do to support the cleaners strike?
SPREAD THE WORD by putting this newsletter up on a notice-board at work.
CATP supporters can phone Dave Welsh 0207-837-0845 for more info
Anyone wishing to donate to the Cleaners Hardship Fund should send donations to Oily New, RMT Unity House, 39 Chalton St London NW1 1JD. Cheques should be made out to Finsbury Park RMT
OTHER NEWS FROM THE TUBE:
PASSENGERS SUPPORT OUR TUBE CLEANERS FOR A LIVING WAGE!
More than 700 RMT Tube Cleaners who work for 4 private contractors voted for strike action to win the London living wage and decent living conditions. They voted for a series of strikes with a landslide of over 99%.
As the RMT general secretary says, "In 21st century London, a living wage is reckoned to be at least £7.50 an hour. We have members who are being paid at rock-bottom minimum wage rates little more than £5.50 an hour, and the abuse has to stop." The people who clean one of the world´s most prestigious metro systems have the right to be paid a wage on which they can afford to live in London.
The previous mayor promised the cleaners on Metronet contracts they would receive the London living wage as soon as they passed into Transport for London control. Metronet is now under Transport for London control, but the Cleaners remain on the same low pay and degrading conditions. If Boris Johnson wants to be seen as mayor for all Londoners, he surely should honour that pledge.
The private contractors also continue to impose horrifyingly poor conditions; including the barbaric practice of "third party sackings" whereby cleaners can be dismissed with no disciplinary hearing or right of appeal, at the behest of parties other than the employer - a device used to get rid of trade union activists. This is why RMT cleaners want a change to 28 days' holiday, sick pay, decent pension scheme and travel facilites.( All other workers on the Tube get free travel as a right, but not the worst-paid!)
With £:1million-a-week profit, the share-holders of Tubelines (the other major privateering company now Metronet´s been brought under Transport for London) are unlikely to feel a noticeable dent in their pockets if our Tube Cleaners get a living wage and basic conditions. CATP believes these issues are a Health & Safety question for passengers ( remember the Kings Cross fire). If you find a carriage or platform has a build-up of slippery or combustible materials, you are perfectly entitled to complain immediately to the station supervisor. We support the Tube Cleaners action and want cleaning brought back into the Public Sector.
If you want to help the Campaign Against Tube Privatisation, phone Dave Welsh 0207-837-0845 to find out about more action and send your views to Boris Johnson at City Hall, Queen´s Walk, SE1 2AA
Leaflet with CATP