Union launches campaign for improved working conditions, wages for cleaners

Campaign is in response to a recent industry survey.

United Workers Union has launched a new campaign calling for improved working conditions and higher wages for cleaners.

Launched on International Justice Day for Cleaners (Monday, 15 June) the campaign, The Cleaners’ Solution, is in response to a recent national survey conducted by the cleaners’ union last month, with more than 530 cleaners taking part.

According to the survey, more than 90 per cent of surveyed cleaners always, often or sometimes have to rush their work because they don’t have enough time, while 80 per cent said they do not have enough cleaning equipment to do a quality job.

Almost 75 per cent of participants said they do not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to do their job safely, while 70 per cent said they have not received face-to-face training. More than 85 per cent said they are not paid what they are worth.

United Workers Union said the campaign is the answer to many issues and challenges cleaners face in the industry. The campaign has five key demands: more time to clean; better equipment and training; better wages and job security; deals with quality cleaning companies only; and respect and a voice at work.

Union members will be campaigning for improved conditions at sites around the country on International Justice Day for Cleaners  (15 June) including shopping centres, schools and government sites, to draw attention to issues facing the workforce.

According to the union, issues being highlighted at actions today include enhanced cleaning and hours being wound back prematurely, lack of job security and lack of direct government employment.

Lyndal Ryan, cleaning spokesperson for United Workers Union, said the coronavirus crisis has shown how crucial cleaners are.

“Cleaners across Australia will be taking action today to demand respect in their workplaces. Cleaners will be drawing attention to the shocking issues they still face in their workplaces during this crisis,” Ryan said.

“This pandemic is showing that essential workers have been invisible for far too long. Our cleaners have been subject to constant cuts to pay and a lack of respect in the workplace. But the crisis has shown our whole community that cleaners need fair pay and safe working conditions.

“Today is a day to show respect to our cleaners and thank them for being on the frontline. Their hard work will allow our economy to reopen.

“Cleaning jobs must be better into the future. Cleaners deserve decent wages and secure work now, more than ever.”

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