Fighting for direct employment on the track

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Wed, 19/02/2020 - 00:23,

The scourge of outsourcing on London Underground is not limited to cleaning and catering. Protection and possession work is also substantially outsourced, with companies like Cleshar and Morsons providing agency workers to work as possession masters during engineering jobs on the track.

Sub-sub-contracting is also rife, with many workers technically classed as "self-employed" rather than even employees of the agency. At the end of last year, RMT held referenda amongst some groups of "self-employed" members, which returned substantial majorities for taking industrial action to win better conditions and direct employment. LU bosses now seem intent on imposing a new contract arrangement where they deal with a single labour supply agency, who then provides sub-contracted "self-employed" workers who would only be paid per job. As well as being flagrantly exploitative and unjust, this entire arrangement is of dubious legality, and several high-profile court cases, including one against Pimlico Plumbers, have established legal precedents that make clear bosses cannot treat workers as "self-employed contractors" when they are clearly working on the same basis as a salaried employee.

RMT plans to renew its campaign, demanding secure, direct employment for all protection and possession workers. If you work for London Underground, you should be employed by London Underground, on LU terms and conditions. Simple.

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