Metro cleaners on strike

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METRO cleaners have begun a 48-hour walkout over a pay dispute.

The strike started at 10.30pm yesterday and involves workers who are members of the RMT union.

Cleaners with contractor Churchill say they are unhappy because of a pay freeze and have branded the sacking of a colleague as “unfair.”

The walkout will not affect the running of the trains.

RMT union regional organiser Micky Thompson said: “This year we entered into discussions because they are on minimum wage.

“We want to see significant improvements on conditions.

“The company has offered nothing in regards to that.

“The company’s position as far as they are concerned is that they are a minimum wage employer and that’s what they are sticking to.”

Sharon Kelly, director of customer service at Metro operators DB Tyne and Wear, said: “This is a matter for Churchill to resolve with its staff, but we have contingencies in place, so the strike on Monday and Tuesday will not impact on the travelling public.”

The latest action follows a strike staged by Metro drivers on Thursday, which hit thousands of commuters and gig-goers headed to and from the Coldplay concert at the Stadium of Light.

The drivers are planning another strike for Thursday, June 21, when the Bruce Springsteen concert is held at the stadium.