Huge win for Carlisle cleaners

Submitted by Matthew on 16 November, 2011 - 2:14

Union officials have hailed a “groundbreaking” achievement by cleaning workers employed by Carlisle Cleaning and Support Services (CCSS) on the Virgin West Coast Mainline, who called off a planned 48-hour strike after bosses agreed to their demand for a 10% pay rise.

The workers will receive a 5% rise immediately, with an increase of a further 5% phased in over the next 10 months.

The latest victory means that, when the full increase is implemented, the workers will have secured wage increases of nearly 25% in total since last June, moving from £5.80 to £7.12 an hour. Impellam Group, the company which owns CCSS, saw a 30% increase in its profits in the past year but initially refused to budge from its pay offer of just 1%.

The campaign, which involved a solid 24-hour strike on 28 October, explodes the myth that workers cannot win better pay during a recession.

Craig Johnston, Regional Organiser for the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT), said:

“The solidarity that was shown across the West Coast network when we were on the picket lines was fantastic. Our members have been successful.”

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