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Day of action encourages Respect for Cleaners22nd of April 2013
A Europe-wide day of action is being planned for June 17, International Justice Day, around the issue of'Respect for Cleaners'. International umbrella trades union organisation UNI is leading the initiative and encouraging its affiliates throughout Europe to organise activities.
The aim is to raise issues related to cleaning workers, such as low pay, limited hours, health and safety, and temporary work. Activities are planned for countries including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
The campaign accompanies the drawing up of a Cleaners Charter for Europe which all employers and contractors will now be asked to sign. UNI and its affiliates want the bodies and companies that award cleaning contracts to comply with certain standards regarding pay, hours, training, health and safety and dignity. They also want cleaning companies to adhere to the charter.
"Cleaning is essential work. Good cleaning by well trained cleaners on decent wages and fair conditions - that provides a quality service that benefits all," said Nigel Flanagan, senior organiser at UNI. "Clean hospitals, kitchens, offices, hotels, trains, planes, schools - this is in everyone`s interests.
"But where training is poor, equipment is worn out and not replaced, we see lower standards. Where cleaners are treated badly we see poor performance and an unhappy workforce. This campaign is about raising standards of cleaning and raising standards of employment for cleaners."