Workers on seven transport cleaning contracts including those at London Midland will take strike action later this week in a series of disputes over pay and conditions.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at firms including London Midland, Tyne & Wear Metro and London Underground, will take industrial action for varying periods over four days from Thursday.

The union said it was launching co-ordinated action because of the “scandal” of low pay in the sector.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “This campaign will involve industrial, political and public campaigning that will drag the exploitation of cleaners out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

“As well as naming and shaming the companies involved in this low-pay scandal we are also turning the screw on the train operators and transport bodies responsible for awarding these contracts.

“Each one of these seven separate disputes has the same issue at its core - greedy private contractors who seek to exploit their workforce and offer poverty pay while creaming off fat profits for the company shareholders.

“These are all long-running disputes where the train operators and the authorities have sought to wash their hands of the issue and have refused to take any responsibility for the gross and brutal exploitation of cleaners that is taking place on their watch.”

The strikes will involve up to 1,000 cleaners, affecting ISS contracts on London Midland, East Coast Mainline and London Underground; Carlisle Cleaning contracts on the Transpennine Express and Docklands Light Railway in London; a Churchill’s contract on the Tyne & Wear Metro, and an Initial contract on London Underground.