Tyne and Wear Metro cleaners strike

Cleaners on the Tyne and Wear Metro will strike for a further 72 hours from Sunday 23 December.

The workers, who are employed by contractor Churchills, have been fighting for living wages and equality with their directly-employed colleagues. They have previously taken coordinated action with other rail and transport cleaners across the country.

The Metro, formerly a public service but now privatised, is operated on the basis of chains of sub-contracting, with Churchills operating the cleaning contract for DB Regio, who run the Metro system for NEXUS, who run it on behalf of the local Transport Authority.

Churchills has doubled its profits over the last five years, but its staff do not enjoy the same pay rates, working rights, or travel pass privileges that NEXUS staff do. Its top boss has seen his pay increase by nearly 20% since 2007.

Strikers will be setting up a soup kitchen in Newcastle City Centre to highlight the reality of poverty pay, and delivering empty Christmas hampers to members of the local Transport Authority.

Trade Unions: