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International Justice Day for Cleaners is today17th of June 2013
Today is International Justice Day for Cleaners - a global day of action by cleaning staff at 36 major airports to raise the issues commonly related to cleaning workers: low pay, limited hours, health and safety, and temporary work.
International umbrella trades union organisation UNI is leading the initiative and has been encouraging its affiliates throughout Europe to organise activities - which are planned for countries including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. There will also be some action at railway stations.
Flowers and chocolates are being presented to passengers to pass on to cleaners at their destination airports or railways stations, with a short message about Respect for Cleaners attached. Other activities include film-making, flash mobbing, choirs and dancing.
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."
For live updates of the day's events click here