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Cleaning workers campaign for justice24th of June 2011
Cleaning workers around the world have organised events to mark the 20th anniversary of International Justice Day. This takes place in June of every year and is the day when they mark their struggle for fair treatment and equality at work.
Trades unions in countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, United States, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom staged events. UNI Global Union's Property Services section coordinated its affiliates' activities and demonstrations around the world.
In Australia, for example,United Voice cleaners held rallies and flash mob actions in six cities around the country. And in Germany, members of the IGBAU union showed support for their campaign - Cleaning Has its Price - in Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig, München and Hamburg. Visit www.sauberkeithatihrenpreis.de for more information.
Irish SIPTU member cleaners were extremely proactive. They held a cleaners' forum; signed a Responsible Contractor agreement with ISS; held an international conference with cleaners in Holland and Germany; undertook direct action on their labour minister over proposed cuts to cleaners' wages; held an event for contractors and public sector buyers of contract cleaning; and were interviewed on prime time TV about how cleaners' work is undervalued.
International Justice Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1990 and was established after cleaners in Los Angeles were beaten by police during a demonstration against a multinational cleaning firm.