MT calls on Mayor and the Government to stop the blame game and help the Underground’s heroic cleaners
RMT today called on the Mayor and the government to stop pointing the finger at each other and put their money where their mouths are by helping the heroic cleaners who have fought to keep the Underground safe since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the capital.
The union had asked the Mayor to intervene to grant the cleaners free travel on the Underground during a crisis in which they are literally putting their lives on the line every day. This would bring them in line with TfL employees, London Assembly members, the Metropolitan Police, police in the surrounding counties, special constables and service men and women in uniform who can all travel across the TfL network without charge.
On 27 May, Sadiq replied that he was unable to do so as “Government is now seeking to exercise oversight of many of the financial decisions that TfL is making and the deal we have struck contains a number of Government imposed conditions. In this context, I regret, I do not feel able to override TfL’s decision on this matter.”
Yet the union pointed out that both Boris Johnson, during his time as Mayor, and his successor Sadiq Khan are on record as saying that the costs of providing free travel are virtually nil.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said,
“Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan are both on the record praising the amazing work that cleaners are doing throughout this crisis, yet when it comes to actually doing a little thing to help them, they indulge in a political blame game at the expense of the people who go down into the Tube every day and night, putting their lives on the line to keep Londoners safe.
“Boris and Sadiq both know it would cost virtually nothing to give these cleaners free travel. This is politics at the expense of people. I think it’s a disgrace and I bet most Londoners would agree.”