The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 1st March 2019

Low pay victory

TRANSPORT union RMT has secured a major pay victory for DHL staff working on the Virgin West Coast Mainline contract that will see the entire workforce lifted on to a living wage.

The new pay deal means that some staff will see their wages rise by over 21% and that a new base-line level ensures the DHL workers in catering stores and supplies logistics for Richard Branson’s trainset will be guaranteed a minimum hourly rate of £10.55 for London Boroughs and £9.20 beyond.

The union says that the pay breakthrough proves that outsourced workers, when organised into a militant, industrial trade union, can win major victories. The union believes that the 21 per cent rise for the pot-washer grade is the biggest single rise in earnings secured by any trade union for any group of workers anywhere in the country in the current climate.

Other groups of workers on the team will see their pay rise by only a slightly smaller 19 per cent as they are lifted onto the new minimum rates agreed with the union.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT has achieved a significant breakthrough here, our members showed a steadfast resolve in trying to achieve a better deal voting voting overwhelmingly for strike action in an attempt to get a better pay offer.

“It’s a huge win for our members — some of the lowest paid in London now move up to the real living wage from April — outside London we move beyond the real living wage. The solid strike mandate we had behind us was the foundation of our campaign for better wages for these low paid staff and gave us the leverage to secure huge improvements through serious negotiations with the company. This stunning deal sets a benchmark now for the whole outsourcing industry.”

Let us hope this is a new dawn rather than a flash in the pan.