Underground agency staff to be balloted
- Published on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:09
- Posted by Vicki Mitchem
Tube union RMT said today that it is to ballot all staff working on London Underground's "Trainpeople" agency contract for strike action over the termination of a deal which will dump dozens of staff on the dole and which makes a mockery of regulations which were supposed to protect the employment rights of agency staff.
Today, RMT London Underground "Trainpeople" staff – who face the prospect of dismissal this week - are taking their demo right to the heart of the company that treated them so appallingly this Tuesday.
The sacked workers and their supporters will be at St James Park station this morning (Tuesday 15th January 2013) at 8am where they will set up a soup kitchen to highlight their plight and build public and political support for their fight for jobs and justice.
London Underground inherited a contract with the Trainpeople agency from Silverlink in 2007. In breach of agreements with unions, for five years LU continued to use agency staff in LU uniform while Trainpeople paid them as little as £6.75 per hour. Trainpeople staff joined RMT and organised for equal rights with permanent staff as supposedly stipulated in the 2010 Agency Worker Regulations. Then, without warning, LU terminated its contract with the Trainpeople Agency leaving staff facing the immediate prospect of losing their livelihoods.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
"The way that "Trainpeople" have used and abused a group of workers who have been "temporary" for five years is a disgrace and RMT will not sit back while this exploitation is allowed to fester on London Underground.
"This dispute also makes a mockery of regulations that are supposed to protect agency staff but which cynical employers can duck and weave their way around with the connivance of both the EU and the British Government.
"RMT wants permanent and direct employment for these low paid workers and we are setting out on a major campaign to achieve just that."