It's been an open secret on the job for some time now that the recipient of London Underground's fabled "super-contract", via which it will consolidate the separate cleaning contracts currently held by Interserve, ISS, and Vinci, into one, will be ABM, a USA-based facilities management giant.
In an indirect way, ABM has previous on LU. In 2014, it acquired GBM, a large UK-based facilities firm which had held a contract on LU many years ago. A lot of senior GBM managers went on to become senior managers in ABM's expanding UK operations, so it really could be a case of "meet the old boss, same as the new boss".
It's a scandal that cleaners have been kept in the dark for literally years know about this, with no knowledge of who they'll be working for when the contract transfers. There's still been no official announcement! But the bigger scandal is the attacks on workers' rights we can expect to accompany the new contract. It doesn't matter whose logo is on the uniforms, we have to fight their exploitation.
Significant cuts to jobs are expected as part of the new contract. A commitment to reducing the amount of agency working that goes on, while potentially positive on the surface, means that cleaners currently employed through agencies like AGS People don't know whether they'll be taken on as direct ABM employees or simply told there's no more work for them.
RMT, the only union on LU to organise cleaners, needs to redouble its efforts to fight for:
<li>No job cuts as part of the new contract</li>
<li>All agency workers currently employed on Interserve, ISS, or Vinci contracts to be taken on as direct employees of ABM when they new contract begins</li>
<li>Decent sick pay, holidays, and pension entitlements for all workers</li>
<li>LU to provide staff travel passes for cleaning workers</li>
<li>A £10/hour minimum wage for cleaners</li>
ABM's UK offices are helpfully located near London Bridge, a major transport hub, making it an accessible location for anyone who might wish to visit in order to... for example... hold a noisy protest outside their HQ to "welcome" them onto London Underground...