Cleaners on strike as pay dispute continues

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Cleaners at Kinsley Academy have been on strike for a third week in a dispute over pay and conditions with the company that employs them.

Leslie Leake, Marice Hall and Karen McGee are on an indefinite strike after their jobs were transferred to C&D Cleaning services from the local authority.

They are being represented by public sector union Unison, which claims that company decided to cut the cleaners’ pay from £7.85 per hour to £7.20.

The company also slashed their holiday entitlements and reduced sick pay, according to the union.

Unison said the cleaners not consulted about the pay cuts and claimed Barnsley-based C&D Cleaning Services should have followed rules which protect workers’ rights when they transfer from one employer to another.

C&D Cleaning Services Ltd has so far declined to comment on the claims by the union.

The cleaners were on day 12 of their strike yesterday.

Supporters of their campaign include Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who met them at a rally in Featherstone last Saturday.

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett has also called on C&D Cleaning to reach an agreement to end the strike.

The cleaners first agreed not to picket at the school while talks were held with their employer.

But they were back on the picket line this week as the dispute remained unresolved.

C&D Cleaning Services, based at Zenith Business Park, Barnsley, took over the contract to clean the school from Wakefield Council in April.

The school, on Wakefield Road, Fitzwilliam, is part of Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT).

After the strike started the trust said it had been working with the two sides to resolve the dispute.

On Twitter the Kinsley Cleaners said yesterday: “Day 12 of our strike action against C&D Cleaning at Kinsley Academy. We are determined to win.”