Cleaners working on the Tyne and Wear Metro are lobbying the Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) in Newcastle for the right to free travel.
The cleaners, working for Churchill Contract Services, will be demonstrating outside the ITA offices tomorrow (Thursday).
The cleaners' union, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), said it has the support of the Northern Trades Union Congress (TUC). Last week, the TUC declared that it was "appalled" to learn that workers paid the minimum wage to clean Metro trains and stations had to pay to travel on the network.
"We will be applying pressure on Tyne and Wear ITA and Churchill Contract Services until this unfair anomaly is put right," said Northern TUC secretary Kevin Rowan.
"It wouldn't cost the transport authority a penny piece to put end this injustice and it simply isn't good enough for Tyne and Wear ITA to try to wash its hands of the issue and blame it all on a subcontractor," said RMT general secretary Bob Crow.
"Tyne and Wear ITA has a moral responsibility to ensure that all workers who help keep the Metro running are treated fairly and it is ludicrous that the lowest-paid staff are expected to pay to gain access to their own workplace.
"Churchill has no excuse either and for a company that increased its pre-tax profit by 81 per cent between 2009 and 2010 to expect its minimum-wage employees to pay these fares is simply immoral."
FM World contacted Churchill Contract Services, but no one was available for comment.
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