With the slogan “your cleaners are being swept out”, cleaners from London’s bus depots gathered at lunchtime on Wednesday outside City Hall with supporters including Jeremy Corbyn MP, to hand in a petition asking the Mayor and Transport for London to reverse a decision not to renew the cleaning contract for the daytime, which will leave day cleaners at 18 depots jobless from Friday. The cleaners, who work for Dougland Support Service Ltd, are from many countries and received support not only from the MP but also London Region RMT, the Latin American Workers Association and London Coalition Against Poverty. Night cleaners also expressed their support, knowing that they will bear the brunt of the extra workload caused by the sacking of the day cleaners.
The petition, in the name of the London bus cleaners committee, was accompanied by the letter reproduced below, and received widespread support from drivers across the unions.
Heavy handed police tactics included trying to prevent leaflets being given out, and preventing the use of a megaphone. It appears almost illegal for low paid Londoners to demonstrate outiside their mayor’s office now.
For more info see letter below and/or contact cleaners’ rep Guillermo Sanchez on 07930 218 976; or Jerremy Corbyn MP.
London SE1 2AA
Wednesday 16 September
We present this petition to you as the day cleaners of London buses at different bus depots across London.
This Friday we will all be made redundant because Transport for London has decided not to renew its contract with our employer Dougland Support Service Ltd.
This will have a devastating effect on our livelihoods and families. It will also have an effect on the cleanliness of our buses and as a result the health and safety of Londoners.
That is why hundreds of bus drivers and depot staff have signed the attached petition, along with ordinary bus passengers.
We also have the support of the night cleaners who have signed the petition in the knowledge that they will have to take on extra duties as a result of our mass dismissal.
We know that you support the London Living Wage but ask what will be the effects on working class families such as ours of having no wage at all?
Many of us also have family in our countries of origin that depend on the money we send home to look after them in childhood, ill health and old age. By cutting our jobs you are cutting this aid.
We urge you to meet with us and the contractor to resolve the situation.
Please contact our representative Guillermo Sanchez on 07930 218 976 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have also had messages of support from the RMT (London), Jeremy Corbyn MP and the Latin American Workers Association (email@example.com) and are sure they would help to find a solution.
Guillermo Sanchez and all day cleaners as listed below.
Latin American Workers’ Association
c/o 218 Green Lanes, London N4 2BR
For more information please call: 07930218976 and 07904329679