In a 28 August statement to INCLEAN, the Building Service Contractors of New Zealand (BSCNZ) has strongly rebutted comments made by the CrestClean franchising business that was circulated in a post on the e:clean newsletter.
BSCNZ president Patrick Lee-Lo said that the statement was “further smoke and mirrors” from the company, which has faced claims it funded a sustained smear campaign carried out against the organisation via a notorious right wing blog.
“In the statement CrestClean refers to the BSCNZ being ‘upset’ that its ‘stranglehold over government contracts’ has ended through the scrapping of the Principles agreement,” said Lee-Lo.“The reality is that BSCNZ did not seek the Principles agreement and was initially hesitant about being involved.
“It was an initiative by the then Labour Government in 2008. It stated that Government departments could only use contractors which were signatories to the agreement. These were the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU), the NZ Property Council, BSCNZ and the Government.
“The purpose was to protect vulnerable workers by ensuring that contracts for Government buildings were only awarded to companies with high ethical and professional standards who paid their people a fair wage for fair hours worked in decent conditions.
“The BSCNZ’s code of conduct and annual audits of businesses ensure that all members uphold those standards. That is a significant point of difference. By contracting a BSCNZ member, customers, Government or otherwise, can be confident they are employing a reputable company,” he stated.
Lee-Lo also argued that CrestClean’s statement; that “We continue to be disappointed the industry does not seem to focus effort on lifting the skills of cleaners,” was also misleading.
“The BSCNZ is not responsible for industry training. The industry ITO was absorbed into Careerforce as part of the Government restructure to reduce ITO numbers,” he continued. “However, BSCNZ has been working closely with Careerforce and NZQA to implement training standards that are fit for purpose and meet the industry’s needs.
“As a result there is rapid take-up by cleaning companies to enroll trainees to meet these standards. This is encouraging and the BSCNZ is pleased to be at the forefront of this initiative which highlights our drive for better industry training,” remarked Lee-Lo. “The BSCNZ is committed to NZQA-standard training for the New Zealand industry and is hopeful that CrestClean carry through with their process of validating their training against the NZ standards.”
Lee-Lo commented that, given the Principles clause was amended in May and CrestClean released its ‘media statement’ to INCLEAN on 19 August, it would appear to be “an attempt to come out swinging following allegations in the controversial Dirty Politics book by investigative writer Nicky Hager,” he revealed.
Hager’s book claims that a sustained campaign of attacks against BSCNZ and Lee-Lo on the Whale Oil blog, were written by PR agent Carrick Graham. It also claims that Grant McLauchlan, managing director of Crest Commercial Cleaning, commented on the blogs anonymously, which you can read about in this post.
“I have personally contacted Grant McLauchlan and asked him to comment on the accuracy of the Dirty Politics allegations, including the claims he was responsible for anonymous comments. Mr McLauchlan has not responded,” revealed Lee-Lo.
“It is disappointing to see this behaviour from any party in the New Zealand cleaning industry. BSCNZ will continue to work on behalf of our member businesses which work very hard to meet the best interests of both their staff and customers,” he concluded. “We will also continue to build on our strategic plans to provide further benefits to members and lift levels of excellence within the industry in New Zealand.”