The Guardian 5 September, 2007

Office cleaners’ plans for
job security and better lives


CBD office cleaners revealed their plan this week to fix the crisis in the cleaning industry. Cleaners want good secure jobs which will allow them to spend more time with their families — rather than rushing around working two or more jobs a day so as to make ends meet.

"Many cleaners are forced to work two or three part-time jobs so they can put together a decent wage at the end of the week", Louise Tarrant, Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union National Secretary said.

"Working multiple part-time jobs presents a tremendous strain on families. We want to try to make cleaning jobs into decent employment opportunities."

CBD cleaners involved in the Clean Start: Fair Deal for Cleaners campaign, are ready to come together with employers to find solutions to the crisis in the industry:

Short hours shifts and low pay;
Horrific workloads;
Falling cleaning standards
Change the architecture of CBD office cleaning.

"We can end the crisis in CBD office cleaning, a crisis which is now widely recognised within the industry", said Louise Tarrant.

"It is time to change the architecture of our industry. We have strong support from community, religious and political leaders to deliver a solution. We have the support of the majority of the contract cleaners working in CBD."

Cleaners and their supporters want new minimum standards for people working in this industry:

A minimum of 20 hours a week work for all CBD office cleaners;
A minimum of $400 a week;
More full-time jobs that pay a living wage;
A fair workload for all cleaners;
Respect for cleaners in their workplaces.

"It is now also time for some of the most profitable corporations in Australia to show they do care about the cleaners that keep their buildings clean."

CBD cleaners in all Australian capital cities were meeting, as The Guardian went to press, to officially launch the next stage of their campaign.

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