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RMT members campaigning for a living wage outside Leeds railway station – photo RMT

Rail workers union the RMT have been organising campaigning sessions outside Network Rail stations fighting for a living wage for cleaners employed by contractor Mitie.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Mitie has paid out almost £49 million to shareholders over the last five years but claims not to be able to pay the foundation living wage of £9.00 an hour, with 50% responding to a recent survey saying that they were struggling make ends meet.

In Leeds, where RMT members were joined by members of the Socialist Party and Leeds TUC, we had a good response from commuters, with a number of ckeaners in other workplaces stopping to talk, glad to see a trade union standing up against the low wages prevalent for this kind of work.

Such exploited workers deserve a real living wage, yet this is just another example of private contractors profiting from the public purse. Cleaners should be brought back in-house as part of an inintegrated publicly-owned rail network, under the democratic control of staff and passenger representatives.

Over 75,000 people have signed the RMT’s online petition to the company. You can add your name at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/pay-the-living-wage-to-mitie-cleaners-now