The RMT held a protest outside Parliament today in response to cleaning contractor ISS sacking at least one tube cleaner – and sending home many more workers without pay today – for following a union instruction not to book on for shifts using Biometric Fingerprinting Machines.
The agency cleaner was sacked after refusing to use the biometric system to sign on for work at Heathrow Terminal 4 this morning.
Other workers have been sent home across the network – without pay – as they clocked on for work at other tube stations. This is in spite of a prior agreement with London Underground that members of staff who did not want to use the biometric system to clock on would be able to continue to use the established method.
RMT has been involved in a long-running dispute over the use of fingerprinting for booking on which the union believes is a fundamental attack on civil liberties and designed to completely dehumanise the workplace while threatening jobs through automation in the drive for increased profits.
Members at ISS were balloted for action on this issue and voted overwhelmingly YES. As a result staff have been instructed to take action short of a strike by refusing to use the fingerprinting machines and instead to use the established method for booking on.