Strike could make Olympics messy
CLEANERS on London's Tube network have gone on strike for 48 hours in a dispute over bonus payments they have demanded for working during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union employed by private contractors walked out at 5.30am today and mounted picket lines outside Tube stations including Stratford, close to the Olympic Park.
They want extra pay for working during the Games, a measure which has already been approved in respect of many of their colleagues on the London transport system.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "With the eyes of the world on the London Olympics the many millions enjoying the events around the globe must not forget the London transport cleaners on minimum pay rates doing some of the dirtiest jobs in often appalling conditions with no Olympics recognition and reward whatsoever.
"It is these same staff who have played a key role in keeping services clean and safe who are now forced again by their employers to take action for a living wage and recognition of their Olympics efforts."
Phil Hufton, asset performance director for London Underground, said: "This industrial dispute is between Initial and its staff. We have reviewed our staffing plans and have already put contingencies in place. We anticipate no impact on London Underground services as a result of this industrial action."
In May, London Underground staff secured a deal which would see them receive up to £850 for working during the Games. Drivers would get bonus payments of up to £1,000. In June, London bus drivers staged a protest for a similar deal and eventually secured bonuses of at least £500 for working during the Games the following month.
And workers on the city's Boris Bike system suspended a planned strike last month after an offer of extra pay was made.