Saturday, 28 January 2012
Metro Cleaners Want Free Travel Passes
A campaign is being run to win free travel perks for staff who clean the Tyneside Metro. The RMT said it was a “disgrace” they were not entitled to passes to get to and from work without paying. Now it is lobbying bosses of Nexus, which maintains and operates the rail system, to allow the concession. Britain’s biggest rail union says a significant number of about 70 network cleaners are South Tyneside-based. Craig Johnston, the RMT’s relief Northern regional organiser, said they earned the minimum wage of £6.08 an hour.
Station cleaning has been contracted to Hertfordshire-based Churchill Contract Services, a national firm with a Gateshead office so the staff are not employees of the Metro.
Nexus said it was the responsibility of the contractor to cover travel costs, but it would respond to the RMT’s correspondence.
A spokesman said: “It is not the responsibility of Nexus to provide free travel for Churchill workers.”
Metro customer services director Sharon Kelly said many independent companies employed hundreds of contractors and consultants across the Metro system. She added: “It is up to each employer what benefits they offer their own staff, and it would be unrealistic and unaffordable for Metro to provide free travel to everyone connected with it in this way.”