Sadiq Khan's manifesto for the 6 May London mayoral elections contains a great deal about transport. Tubeworker will comment further on other aspects of it in the future: we want to pick up on just one here.
The manifesto goes further than Khan has gone previously towards indicating the in-housing of outsourced services across TfL. Khan says he'll "look, when opportunities arise, to bring services back in house." He also says he'll "instruct TfL to review its cleaning contract with ABM, including an assessment of extending the free travel cleaners receive whilst at work to their journeys to and from work."
This is progress, and unquestionably the result of pressure cleaners in the RMT and their supporters have applied to City Hall over this issue. That pressure now needs to be stepped up, because Khan's commitments don't go nearly far enough.
With a Labour victory on 6 May all but guaranteed, we need to target Khan directly to demand he goes further. "Exploring" the in-housing of services, "looking to" bring them back in house, and merely "assessing" the extension of travel passes to cleaners aren't enough. TfL could easily collude with outsourced companies to say they've carried out the mayor's instructions to "explore", "look into", and "assess"... and decide it's best to leave everything the way it is!
We need a firm guarantee that cleaning will be taken in house, and staff travel passes extended to cleaners - not just for journeys to and from work, but the full staff travel pass, plus additional nominee pass, currently accessible to directly-employed staff. Other outsourced work, such as catering, security, and protection work on the track, should also be brought back in house.
Numerous Labour MPs have posted on social media praising the role of Tube cleaners during the pandemic and lauding Khan's commitment. It doesn't take much to impress them, apparently. Vague half-promises aren't enough, we want firm guarantees of action. And we'll organise to secure them.