Mayor should come clean on Tube infection prevention

Tube union RMT has written to the London mayor Sadiq Khan, calling for the privatised cleaning regime on London Underground to be ended and brought in-house. The union demand came after the Evening Standard reported that New York’s transport authorities were taking measures to meet the public health threats posed by coronavirus by imposing an enhanced cleaning regime in the subway system. The city’s network is to be deep cleaned every three days as part of the strategy. RMT says by contrast the latest publicly available information on London Underground’s cleaning regime indicates that most lines are only deep cleaned every 21 to 23 days. RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It is clear that the privatised cleaning operation on London Underground will not allow a quick and solely public interest response to the coronavirus. Unlike London Underground, cleaning on the New York subway is not privatised and benefits from being directly controlled by the public sector. This is why they are able to deep clean the subway every three days, compared to every 21-23 days on the Underground.” The union leader added: “We are in no doubt, as has been shown by research in the healthcare system that outsourced cleaning contracts lead to significantly greater incidents of infection. TfL need to take back control and bring cleaning back in-house and into direct London Underground employment.”
RMT news releaseEvening Standard.

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