Eurostar cleaners at St Pancras International have been boycotting fingerprint booking-on machines since 6 May. RMT balloted them for ‘action short of strikes’ in protest at Carlisle Cleaning Services bringing in the devices to replace clocking on/off machines. Cleaners voted 30:1 for the boycott.
Employers like Carlisle seem to think that they can impose whatever indignity they choose. The cleaners’ resistance shows that they can not get away with it.
This fight should give new momentum to efforts to unionise cleaners and win better pay and conditions for some of the worst-treated workers in the industry.
There is heartening news of a victory for workers on Heathrow Express.
Driver Omono Edokpayi was set to move to another company, but his new employer withdrew his job offer following an incident at work. HEx would not let him withdraw his resignation, so in effect, Omono was sacked.
His furious workmates held a mass meeting and asked RMT to organise strikes. It seems that the mere threat of action was enough to cause a change of heart. The company first offered him a non-driving job, but his workmates would not be fobbed off, and HEx then backed down completely and Omono is now back in his substantive post.