The cleaners and security staff working on the Docklands Light Railway have been back out on strike again in their continuing battle for fair pay, negotiated rostered hours and an end to a catalogue of workplace abuses by their employers.
In the smoke and mirrors world of outsourcing, RMT members are up against two different sets of employers. On one side we have KAD, an unholy lash up between transport giant Keolis and engineering giant Amey which came together in 2014 to grab the lucrative seven-year franchise to run the DLR. KAD directly employs some of the workers in dispute.
However many of the cleaners and security staff are not hired directly by KAD at all but on their behalf by ISS (Integrated Service Solutions), the global cleaning, catering and security services outsourcing parasite which exploits the labour of half a million workers in 75 countries, sweating revenue out of them in 2017 of around £75 bn. Needless to say, none of this largesse finds its way into workers’ pockets.
But regardless of which band of rogues officially employs them, the workers here are all engaged in the same vital work of keeping all 45 DLR stations clean and secure for the 340,000 members of the public who daily ride the rails.
The CPGB-ML has distributed leaflets calling for the docklands railway to be taken out of the hands of the parasites and back into accountable public ownership, bringing an end to this privatising and outsourcing nightmare, where nobody takes ultimate responsibility and workers’ rights and the public’s security are both treated with contempt.
As we go to press we hear that negotiations have been successful and the strike has been called off. We offer our congratulations to the militant rail workers.