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RMT union wins huge victory for low-paid railway staff

Deal will ensure real living wage paid

Rail union RMT said today that it has secured a massive victory against low pay on Britain’s railways.

In a ground-breaking deal, the union has struck an agreement that means that all staff employed in the cleaners supply chain on Network Rail contracts will be paid the real living wage from the 1st of April. The deal will benefit hundreds of staff on contracts cleaning Network Rail managed stations and estates.

Staff in London will guaranteed a minimum of £10.75 an hour and staff outside the capital will earn no less that £9.30 an hour.

The deal has been secured with the support and assistance of Labour MP and RMT Parliamentary Group chair Ian Mearns.

Mick Cash, General Secretary of Britain’s largest rail union RMT, said;

This is a deal that represents a significant victory for RMT and its members in the battle to eliminate low pay on the rail network. It sets a floor for the rest of the industry and will be a springboard to pushing ahead with our campaigning with the train operators and others in the rail sector.

RMT has set as one of its core objectives the battle to value our cleaners and caterers and let the message ring out loud and clear – we are fighting and we are winning.

I want to pay tribute our negotiators, Ian Mearns from our parliamentary group and most of all our members who have got themselves organised and proved the point that when RMT is on the case no one gets left behind. This is a massive shot in the arm and we are sending a signal to the remaining cheapskate employers in our industry that we are coming for you.


The Tories’ sham ‘living wage’ is a disguise for the old minimum wage, which does not guarantee enough to actually live on for millions of low-paid workers.

The RMT’s victory shows again the importance of unions. If you’re not already in one, join one.

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    1. Signpostwindchimes…..The knights of the realm always cover their backs,I doubt constructive dismissal would go far with an ordinary victim of the nasty Patel.

      1. Only that he isn’t ordinary, on the contrary Sir Phillip Rutnam is a top Civil Servant. Hence, very much part of the British establishment.
        I expect the government to settle out of Court and out of sight once the furore dies down and isn’t news anymore and avoid the embarrassment.
        Sir Phillip will oblige by keeping the deal out of the news after things have been sorted to his satisfaction.

    2. Maria, they had already offered a substantial sum. He refused and decided to take it to tribunal. I am hoping it exposes what the vacuum that is Priti Patel has been filled with and by whom. Who were the unknown Israeli “official❓ What exactly was discussed❓Why was she rehired❓ Was Johnson coerced to rehire her, and by whom❓Was money or gifts exchanged AT ANY POINT❓What exactly were the objectives of the “officials” she met without authorisation❓
      There are many questions hanging over Boris Johnson and Ms Priti Patel.

    3. “officialS” … Were money and gifts…
      I really should read before sending. Shame on me. Apologies for all the many errors.

    1. Maybe trade unionists in London should sent a message by not voting for Sadiq Khan for Mayor.
      Instead campaign for a Labour dominated GLA to guaranty a strong Labour Party presence in the GLA that would prove a nightmare for a Tory Major.
      There isn’t a point in having a Mayor sporting a Labour rosette but for all purposes behaving no differently from a Tory, while tying the hands of Labour representatives at the GLA, that cannot go after him because he represents Labour.

  1. The people not in a union are the people who for years called the members “lazy commies” and complained all they did was go on strike. They are the same people who now complain about foreign workers cutting wages. What a tragedy for the working man that successive Tory governments,including Blairs,have undermined the unions so much.

    1. Jim note the “professional people” always dressed up as an institute,Society Guild,or association.,never old joe blogs Union.,and then they claim to be anti union.Propaganda has a lot to answer for the backwards drift of organized!Labour.and solidarity with a common goal of the working class..Over the coming years this country Will be Challenged by a radical right wing government and moderate fanatics within the Labour party.who will seek to use force against the working classes.The unions may be the last bastion of representation of Democratic socialism for the many not the few parasites in government and within.

  2. What a tragedy for the working man that successive Tory governments,including Blairs,have undermined the unions so much.

    Some unions (And their leaders) don’t deserve support; especially those that are complicit in tory austerity. Isn’t that right, serwotka & prentis?

    As for foreign workers cutting wages, remember gordon broon?
    ‘British jobs for British workers’…

    And what happened? Did he stop parasitical agencies from exclusively hiring from abroad when he had ample opportunity?


    Did that non-intervention contribute to further job insecurity and undercutting of wages AND rights?

    Damn right it did.

    Did it embolden the following toerag/libdim coalition to persecute people to work for their dole? Oh yes, indeed. Their excuse was that people have left their east european homes to come here for minimum wage – why should YOU live off THEIR taxes because you won’t travel 90mins (By fucking concorde) to do a NMW job?

    Did it embolden the toerags to create misery in the housing sector – But of course. ”What’s your crib; living four to a B&B temp accomodation bedsit? The taxpayer’s paying for it. Those romanians are living 25 to a two-up, two down, AND they’re working for fuck-all; and there’s plenty more where they came from, too!

    If THEY can do it, so should YOU, now shut the f**k up and get up that chimney.

    1. ‘For Freedom of Movement’ see ‘Cheap Labour’. Real Poverty in the UBER ‘gig’ economy, working for ‘Mc’ wages, courtesy of EU. We need ‘Freedom of Movement’ so people will do the jobs that British people won’t (because of low wages). Enoch Powell initially extended the invitation & now it has become ‘a badge of honour’ & ‘an item of virtue signalling’ for the comfortable bourgeoisie to tell us how our NHS & our Universities depend on ‘Freedom of Movement.

      Jeremy Corbyn said it was a tragedy that British students could no longer study in Brussels………no, the tragedy is that Universities (eg Liverpool) are expanding their empire by buying cheap properties in areas of inner city Liverpool & turning their back on the local population. Now ‘International’ Liverpool University seeks to encourage ‘foreign’ staff & students who are more profitable for the ‘private’ business.

      Liverpool City Council work closely, in partnership with their .money making’ partners.

  3. Yes – it’s good to see some successful union push-back, but it’s still about a *living* wage – not a decent wage.

    And you’re right – until it smacks them in the face, a lot of workers don’t see any point in unionisation – which, we know, is the single factor that will do most to combat the downward pressure on pay.

  4. The problem is not so much about wages as the casualisation of jobs that were once secure, well paid, and respected. Our postal workers for example, supported by the CWU, are facing attempts to completely break up the Royal Mail workforce and reduce each individual postal worker to a self-employed zero-hours type of situation.

    1. “The problem is not so much about wages as the casualisation of jobs”

      The two go hand-in-hand, tomlondra.

  5. WOW! £9-30 ph real gin & tonic wages. I wonder what the hourly rate is for MPs?

    I have never earned above the ave wage approx. £25K & would like to propose a ‘reality check’ on politicians (after scrapping House of Lords) we should offer MPs a basic salary based on the national ave working wage. We could provide an incentive scheme for a small bonus to be paid (hardship fund) based on the standard & the cost of living of the lowest paid.

    Are MPs serious about challenging ‘Poverty’? They could be?

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