Glasgow & West Scotland

Cleaners' pay campaign starts at Scottish railway stations

Passengers at Glasgow Central Image copyright Getty Images

A campaign to boost the pay of railway cleaners is being launched in Scotland.

The transport union RMT will ask passengers at Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley stations to back the call for the real living wage.

The campaign highlighting the pay of cleaners at major stations managed by Network Rail will then move on to stations in England.

Mitie, which employs the cleaners, has said it supports the principle of the real living wage.

At the first event, afternoon commuters in Glasgow will be asked to sign a petition calling for improved pay rates.

RMT has argued that Mitie Group paid nearly £49m to its shareholders in dividends in the last five years, "but it won't pay its cleaners the real living wage".

What is the real living wage?

  • The real living wage was devised by the charity the Living Wage Foundation. Employers who have signed up to the voluntary agreement currently pay their employees £9 an hour. In London, the minimum hourly rate is £10.55.
  • It should not be confused with the compulsory National Living Wage, which is currently £8.21 an hour for everyone over 25.

General secretary Mick Cash said: "It is a scandal that the staff employed by outsourcing giant Mitie who clean stations for Network Rail, doing some of the dirtiest work in the rail industry at all hours of the night and day, are struggling to make ends meet and are paid below the Real Living Wage."

He added: "RMT will be doing all it can to support Mitie cleaners, cleaning up the vomit, human waste and the rest of the filth at our stations, in their fight to make this wealthy company do the right thing."

Mitie said in a statement: "Mitie is fully supportive of initiatives to pay our staff the Real Living Wage.

"We know how difficult it is to maintain a decent standard of living and take care of a family on the National Living Wage, which is why we have worked with most of our top clients to move to the Real Living Wage.

"We are in regular dialogue with Network Rail regarding pay and conditions, and will do all we can to work closely with them, and with other stakeholders such as the Business Services Association and unions where appropriate, to obtain a move to the Real Living Wage for our staff."

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