Monday 6 May 2013

Support the Mitie strikers at Manchester airport

Cleaners at Manchester airport have been outsourced to Mitie for the last couple of years, and they haven't been easy years.

The workers say that at the time of the transfer, they were told there would be no redundancies, yet within a month about 10% of the workforce was cut, leaving the survivors with a heavier workload.  Too often, competition for contracts between bidders isn't about a better service, or organising the work better, but simply about delivering the lowest price by driving people to work longer and harder for less.  In this case the cleaners get just £6.95 an hour and have had no pay rises for four years.  At this rate they will soon be on the National Minimum Wage.

But even this isn't enough for Mitie.  They want to cut attendance bonuses and paid breaks, which would leave workers about £96 a month worse off.  They're also chiselling away at other terms - even cutting compassionate leave from 3 days to 1 (could you organise a funeral in a day?) and stopping workers swapping shifts.

On Friday, the Mitie workers went on strike in defence of their paid breaks.

Mitie is a giant company, with lots of subsidiaries, but a quick look at the records for just one of them, Mitie Cleaning & Environmental Services Ltd, gives you a clue as to the scale of the operation, built on the hard work of low-paid workers like those at Manchester Airport.

You can send messages of support to the workers via their UNITE officer, Dave Kennedy.

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