'Hero' cleaners working on Wigan trains plan two 48-hour strikes over pay

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Cleaners working on some of the trains travelling through Wigan are set to take further strike action in a dispute over pay.

Rail union RMT has announced that cleaners on Avanti West Coast trains will not work for two 48-hour periods.

The cleaners, who are employed by outsourcing company Atalian Servest Limited, are paid £9.68 per hour - less than the real living wage - and have no company sick pay.

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The RMT says this means they frequently go into work when ill because they cannot make ends meet otherwise.

The staff involve clean Avanti West Coat trainsThe staff involve clean Avanti West Coat trains
The staff involve clean Avanti West Coat trains

Atalian Servest's latest pay offer amounted to an additional 6p per hour for most staff, which the union described as "insulting".

The union has called two 48-hour strikes, which will start at 7.30pm on Thursday, February 24 and Thursday, March 10.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Our cleaner members on Avanti West Coast trains have been left with no choice but to take further strike action. Previous strike action in January was solidly supported across both days.

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"We have now called two 48-hour strikes to remind privateer Atalian Servest that this issue is not going away and their latest paltry offer was an insult to our members.

"The people who clean our railways are heroes who risk their lives and health every day to keep our essential services running, but the way Atalian Servest is treating its workers on West Coast trains is an utter disgrace.

"While the dividends are siphoned off abroad, cleaners are expected to put up with poverty wages and live in fear of destitution if they get sick. It’s shameful that we’re driven to strike action to win such basic justice."

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