31/10/2005

Parliament cleaners prepare to strike again

Cleaners at the Houses of Parliament are preparing to hold a second strike for better pay next week.

The Transport and General Workers Union said that the strike would take place on November 9.

Many MPs and peers are believed to be in favour of increasing the wages of the 140 cleaners to £6.70 per hour, following a previous 24-hour strike in July. They currently receive £5.20 per hour, but are not entitled to sick pay or pension provision and only receive minimum holidays.

However, the TGWU said that the head of the Parliamentary Authorities - Serjeant at Arms Peter Grant Peterkin – had refused to meet with contractors and union officials, saying that a meeting would “probably achieve nothing”.

Jack Dromey, T&G Deputy General Secretary, said: “It seems inconceivable that unelected, privileged civil servants are blocking attempts by Parliamentarians to get their cleaners a living wage.

“MPs, Lords and the public recognise the justice of the cleaners’ claim. It is clear beyond any doubt that justice will only be delivered by Parliament playing its part together with workers and the contractors.”

(KMcA/SP)

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