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Workers who clean London Underground stations have started a 48-hour strike in a dispute over pay.

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The Rail Maritime and Transport union members working for Initial and ISS began their walk out at 5.30am today.

General secretary Bob Crow said: “With the eyes of the world on the London new year celebrations, the many millions watching the countdown must not forget the London transport cleaners on minimum pay rates doing some of the dirtiest jobs in often appalling conditions with no proper recognition and reward whatsoever.

“It is these same staff who have played a key role in keeping services clean and safe who are now forced again by their employers to take action for a living wage and recognition of their efforts.

“It is time for London Mayor Boris Johnson to stop talking about a living wage and start acting to make sure that contractors on his services actually deliver it.”

Philip Hufton, London Underground’s (LU) asset performance director, said: “This is a dispute between ISS, Initial and the RMT, which we urge all parties to resolve without any unnecessary strike action.

“London Underground will be operating as normal during the planned industrial action and we do not anticipate any impact on train services.

“Transport for London (TfL) fully supports the Mayor’s London Living Wage. All cleaners directly employed by TfL are paid at least the London Living wage, and we require contractors working on the Tube network for London Underground and Tube Lines to do the same.”

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