‘SLAVERY should go and our rights given!’ demanded London Overground workers who were lobbying the London Mayor’s office yesterday in preparation for their February 28th strike against ‘inhumane and barbaric’ conditions.
In July 2012 the Travel Safe workers won union recognition and are now members of the RMT railway workers union.
On the lobby George Kanu told News Line: ‘We work on London Underground for a security firm called STM Security, and we are outside City Hall because the Travel Safe Officers scheme was introduced by London Mayor Boris Johnson.
‘We patrol the London Overground stations and trains, maintaining a uniformed presence to deter crimes and also to provide customer service and assistance.
‘This project was initiated by Transport for London (TFL) and the contract was given to STM Security Group UK.
‘We have been doing the job now for four years and we do not have any contract, we don’t even get any sick pay.
‘We don’t get holiday pay and any attempt to bring these issues to management is met with a stubborn resistance,’ he alleged.
‘The management see our attempts to raise these issues as a challenge to authority and we are subjugated by a regime of bullying by management,’ he alleged.
‘They threaten some of us with the sack and have suspended some of us, one of us has already been victimised and sacked.
‘The staff mess room lacks any basic facilities, there is no running water, no toilet facilities, no washing or cooking facilities, not even a kettle to make tea.
‘The conditions we are working in are inhumane and barbaric,’ he further alleged.
RMT union rep Adnan Hanif added: ‘We are going on strike on Thursday February 28. I was targeted for my union activities and they threatened me with the sack and I faced a six month disciplinary.
‘We are going to keep on fighting until we win!’
In the leaflet that they were giving out, the Travel Safe workers said: ‘Our jobs are not secure and this is how we are treated:
• Like slaves
• Assigned shifts on short notice
• Our Holiday Entitlement not paid properly
• No sick pay
• No basic kitchen facilities (No water, No microwave and not even a rubbish bin and tea kettle)
• No changing facilities and we even have female colleagues working with us
• No proper uniform with compliance to basic health and safety requirements.
‘The struggle is on and day by day we are getting frustrated and disappointed by bullying and harassment of management by all means (bringing 20 new part-time travel safe officers who are not even RSSA Accredited, reducing our hours, not paying or delaying our holidays etc.) but we are still composed with high morals.
‘We won’t surrender until we get something to secure our future.
‘The slavery should go and our rights should be given.’