Tooting Constituency Labour Party in south London has passed a resolution supporting RMT's campaign for full sick pay, staff travel passes, and direct employment for Tube cleaners.
Whilst any wider support throughout the labour movement is welcome and important, this development is especially significant because Tooting CLP is London Mayor Sadiq Khan's local party, in the constituency he represented as an MP prior to his election as mayor.
We reproduced the text of the resolution passed by the CLP below. It was submitted prior to the reinstatement of the agreement that cleaners would get full pay for isolation and Covid-related sickness.
The original motion was watered down somewhat, with supporters of Khan's record softening criticism of him. Tubeworker believes Khan has to accept ultimate political responsibility for the treatment of outsourced workers on London Underground; the buck stops with his office, and he could ensure staff travel passes and a contractual right to full sick pay more or less at a pen stroke. He has not done so.
Nevertheless, the adoption of his resolution by his local party, which includes support for direct employment, and Khan's comments in August that he would "consider" bringing Tube cleaning in house when ABM's contract expires, represent progress.
This CLP notes that Transport for London and cleaning contractor ABM have withdrawn an agreement made with the RMT union at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic that outsourced Tube cleaners would be paid in full for periods of sickness and self-isolation.
This CLP further notes that there is no contractual entitlement to occupational sick pay for Tube cleaners, who are normally only paid Statutory Sick Pay.
This CLP believes that the refusal of TfL and ABM to give an ongoing guarantee of full sickness and isolation pay for all cleaners, for as many periods of isolation as necessary, is a scandal that puts cleaners themselves, their workmates, and the travelling public at risk.
This CLP believes that a right to full sickness and isolation pay is an essential infection control measure. If workers cannot afford to self-isolate, the virus will continue to spread and more lives will be lost.
This CLP further believes that cleaning workers, who are on the front lines of confronting the pandemic, must be treated with dignity.
This CLP welcomes the London Mayor's undertaking to investigate taking the contract back in house.
This branch therefore resolves:
• To write to the London Transport Region of RMT to express our support for their campaign for full sick pay, staff travel passes, improved pensions, and direct employment for Tube cleaners
• To write to TfL, London Underground, ABM, our GLA member and the Mayor of London to demand, on behalf of our members who travel on the Tube, full sickness and isolation pay for all Tube workers, including outsourced cleaners