09/11/2005

Parliament cleaners on strike again

Cleaners in the Houses of Parliament are staging another 24-hour strike, as part of an ongoing pay dispute.

Around 140 cleaners have demanded a pay increase – from £5.20 per hour to £6.70 – as well as improvements in their working conditions, including the provision of sick pay and pensions.

It is the second strike to be staged by the cleaners this year, following another 24-hour strike in July.

The Transport and General Workers’ Union said that the cleaners’ pay is as outdated as the uniform worn by Serjeant at Arms Peter Grant Peterkin, who, they said, had refused to meet with the cleaners to discuss the pay dispute.

However, House of Commons Commission spokesman Nick Harvey said that the dispute was a matter between the cleaners and the contractors who employed them.

Some MPs have supported the cleaners’ campaign. Shahid Malik, Labour MP for Dewsbury, who led the support said that all MPs and Lords had the responsibility to ensure that those who maintained Parliament are treated with dignity and respect. He said: “Parliament must engage in ending this dispute and it must fund this pay claim.”

(KMcA/SP)

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