As we all know, ABM has taken over cleaning contracts on London Underground from September, and is continuing to transfer staff through TUPE regulations. Interserve staff have already transferred, with Vinci staff due to go over in early December, followed by ISS staff in February.
The contract was sold to the lowest bidder, with some reports indicating that ABM underbid rivals Interserve and Mitie by £4 million. There are question marks over whether ABM really has the infrastructure to properly oversee a contract of this size; it emerged that they were using an agency office as a base for conducting “right-to-work” checks with staff, despite having their own office off Borough High Street.
Their booking-on systems seems to be all over the place, leading to a recurrence of the short-payment issue in the first weeks of the contract. Some staff have not been issued with adequate PPE. The union is taking these issues up at senior level. The system for reporting sickness also seems to be a mess.
It all points to a firm not capable of running the contract. We took our campaign to City Hall on 12 October to demand an end to outsourcing; the only company that should be employing cleaners on London Underground is… London Underground!