Friday, 16 August 2013

Cleanliness is next to godliness, it is said - but does business like to give their cleaners a good deal?

One thing about the work of Cleaners, we sure as eggs don't like it when their work is undone - and, if it is undone, it means that someone, somewhere further up the stratosphere is cost-cuttng and under-valuing the work of cleaners.  Don't know about you ~ but when I go to a shopping centre with a dirty lift or ascend via dirty carpetted stairs to a second floor premises I am far from impressed.  I wonder if I should judge the business acumen, expertise and success of the business I am frequenting. Allowing the first experience of the customers to be dirt, dust and clutter is not impressive.  

I am also concerned about the bad treatment of cleaning personnel - underpaid work, disposability, invisibility.  So this is why I support a better deal for cleaners and am posting the letter below:

My name is Suzie

Dear Brigid,
My name is Suzie. I am a mother and a grandmother, and for 25 years I have supported my family as a cleaner. I clean offices in Melbourne’s CBD.
I’m proud of my job but it’s not easy! I work two jobs, one in the morning and one in the afternoon – and cleaning is very hard work. For years I struggled with poverty wages. I couldn’t keep up with the costs of food, travel, and bills.
A few years ago, I stood together with other CBD cleaners to fight for fair conditions. With community support, we said “we’re going to win” – and we did win!
Cleaning companies signed our Clean Start Agreement, giving us pay rises, job security and respect for our hard work. Clean Start meant I could enjoy my life more, and enjoy the time I have with my grandchildren.
But now our agreement has expired. Our livelihoods depend on all the cleaning companies signing on to a new Clean Start Agreement.
But one big company is threatening all that.
The Glad Group is one of the biggest employers of cleaners in Melbourne’s CBD, but they won’t even meet with cleaners to talk about a new Clean Start Agreement. They haven’t given their cleaners a pay rise for over a year.
If the Glad Group refuses to sign a new agreement, why would all the other companies sign? Everything we won could be lost, and cleaners like me will again be in a daily battle with poverty.
Without Clean Start, how will I pay for my bills or groceries? The cost of everything is going up and up. I have been working very hard all my life – losing Clean Start would mean I couldn’t even turn on my heating.
Support from the community helped us win a Clean Start Agreement. Now we need your help to win again.
Please sign our petition so cleaners like me don’t fall back into poverty.
Thank you for your support.
Suzie Kotevski, city cleaner
PS Like and share our Clean Start Facebook page!

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