Rail union RMT announced today that it balloting all cleaners on First Great Western employed on the Mitie contract for strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over pay.
The ballot for action opens today and closes on Tuesday 24th May.
With inflation running at 5.5% Mitie has offered its cleaners a pay increase of just 1.25% for last year and no more than 1% from April this year - a massive cut in living standards for the hard-working staff on the prestige First Great Western route whose dedication has enabled the company to generate operating profits of £48.4 million in their most recent accounts - 13.1% of their growing revenue total of £918.7 million.
RMT is also demanding to know why First Great Western is allowing their contractors to treat low-paid cleaning staff with such complete contempt. RMT is determined to shine the light on the activities of Mitie, which brands itself as an 'outsourcing specialist' mopping up facilities contracts in both the private and public sectors and which is a market leader in this growing business sector.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
"While company shareholders have been paid dividends of 10.8% off the backs of their workforce, our cleaner members on Mitie's First Great Western contract have been offered a pathetic 1% this year - a massive kick in the teeth for staff already fighting to exist on low rates of pay.
"Mitie brands itself as a market leader in the 'outsourcing' game and yet they have no interest whatsoever in rewarding the hard work of their staff with a fair and decent pay rise.
"We are campaigning for a strong Yes vote in this ballot to send a clear message to the company that our members will not bend the knee and accept this attack on their standards of living. It is down to the company to come back to us with a proper pay offer that treats our cleaner members with the respect that they deserve."
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