On the morning of January 8th a series of actions were held in defence of two RMT activists victimised by their employer ISS for standing up for cleaners on the London Underground. Feminist Fightback and CAIC activists and RMT members were prominently involved. Clara Osagiede – RMT cleaners’ grade secretary – faced a disciplinary hearing on charges of “gross misconduct” for allegedly failing to return to work after a meeting, while recently elected local rep Mary Boakye, who has an eye condition caused by an injury picked up at work, was appealing against her dismissal for allegedly sleeping during working hours. In both cases the employers’ clear motivation was to break up the organising centre of the cleaners, who last year staged a strike for a ‘living wage’ of £7.45 an hour.
Photos and comments on the day’s protests below.
Forty of us demonstrated at the ISS office in Maze Hill where Clara and Mary’s hearings took place. For over two hours we chanted a variety of slogans such as “Union-busting? Disgusting! Low wages? Outrageous!”; “Exploitation is a crime, living wage on every line” and “ISS, shame on you!”.
Victimised RMT rep Mary Boakye and London Transport regional organiser Steve Hedley.
Banner on railings of ISS office: safety before profit.
All of the charges against Clara Osagiede were dropped. ISS said that they would not come to a decision on Mary Boakye until the next day.