Eurostar cleaners vote for Bank Holiday strike

Workers who clean Eurostar have voted to take 24-hour strike action on Bank Holiday Monday in a dispute over pay.

Submitted by Ed on August 18, 2008

More than 120 members of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out on 25th August. The workers want a higher basic wage than the £6.37 per hour which the staff, who work for contractor OCS, receive.

OCS was unavailable to comment. A Eurostar spokeswoman said services would be as normal and contingency plans would be in place if necessary. Eurostar is expected to ferry about 140,000 passengers between London, Paris and Brussels during the Bank Holiday weekend.

The union and OCS management have clashed for some time over cleaners' wages with cleaners not being paid extra for working bank holidays. In addition, RMT General Secretary Bob Crow argued there was no pension, sick pay and only the "bare minimum legal holiday entitlement" and called the situation a "disgrace".

A strike was threatened in the run up to Christmas 2006 but was called off amid further negotiations. Then, union officials had been demanding pay of at least £7.20 as it is the level that is regarded by the Greater London Authority as the minimum rate that a worker can live on to provide a decent standard of living for themselves and their family in the capital.