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Train cleaners for Southeastern to go on strike

By Chris Price

Train cleaners are to go on a 24-hour strike later this month in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

Rail union the RMT said its members will not book shifts to clean Southeastern trains due to a row with their employer Wettons, which has its headquarters in Sevenoaks.

The company is subcontracted to clean carriages run by the train operator.


Union members will not work for 24 hours from 8.30pm on Thursday, October 19.

It follows a two-and-a-half week ballot on whether to stage a walkout.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Rail companies who are making a fortune out of Britain’s privatised railways think nothing of treating their cleaning staff like dirt.

“It is disgusting and the travelling public will know full well just what an essential service the cleaning team plays on Southeastern.

“Southeastern and Wettons want to lock in low pay levels for cleaners and continue to refuse to upgrade working conditions to a humane and acceptable level.

“RMT will not allow Southeastern to wash their hands of this dispute and the issues at their core.

“They are in charge of the Wettons contract and they have the power to demand that they treat their workforce with dignity and respect.

“The union remains available for talks with both Wettons and Southeastern.”

A Southeastern spokesman said: "This is a matter for Wettons who operate the contract with Southeastern.

"We encourage both sides to get round the table and resolve the dispute."

Wettons have been contacted for comment.

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