Rail workers who clean trains to strike in industry’s biggest ever national walkout

The rail workers who clean the trains have voted to strike over pay, in what would be the industry’s biggest ever national walkout.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said more than 1,000 railway cleaners for twelve different contractors backed industrial action.

They are demanding a wage of £15 an hour, sick pay, decent holidays and good pensions from contractors, and the dates for the strike will be decided next week.

They come as a number of other industries have also recently announced strikes including nurses ahead of what will be a winter of discontent for workers across the UK.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This is a historic result and I congratulate cleaner members across the transport network.

“It is scandalous that multimillion-pound companies are making hand-over-fist profits while not paying cleaners properly.

“RMT will fight every step of the way to end the super-exploitation of contracted-out cleaners and will not rest until these greedy companies pay up.”

The tube workers are set to join nurses, civil servants, postal workers and charity staff in downing tools in the fight for better pay and job conditions.

Spiralling inflation and a cost of living crisis – leaving countless Brits reliant on food banks – has piled misery on millions who have decided enough is enough.

Hundreds of thousands of workers across sectors are set to walkout in the huge wave of industrial action.

This includes train workers who have recently announced another eight days of action, disrupting two whole weeks – one just before Christmas and one just after.

More than 40,000 RMT members across Network Rail and 14 train companies will take strike action on December 13, 14, 16 and 17 and on January 3, 4, 6 and 7.

For the first time in its 106-year history the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) balloted members over a walkout and a staggering 300,000 nursing staff are now expected to join the unprecedented strike action.

Similarly, junior doctors are set to be balloted in January and could follow their colleagues out the door.

Around 100,000 civil servants across more than 100 Government departments are set to walk out in December after voting for strike action.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union balloted more than 150,000 government employees at 214 departments – with 126 passing the threshold for strikes.

Strike action will reach “into every corner of public life”, the union said, with huge impacts on Job Centres, passport officers, and Border Force officials.

More than 70,000 university staff are on strike this week and next and Royal Mail staff already have eight days of action in place for this year.

This includes walking out on some of the busiest days in the run up to Christmas including Black Friday.

Firefighters, and workers at G4S, the Environment Agency, the charity Shelter, Harrods, BT/Opeanreach and more are all striking or balloting to go on strike as well.