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Cleaners should wipe the floor with Mapp Bill

20 July 2006

Cleaners should wipe the floor with Mapp Bill

Cleaning workers and their "Clean Start" industrial campaign are usefully highlighting the problems with the Mapp "90 Day" Bill, which seeks to deny new workers their basic employment rights during the first three months on the job, Green Party Industrial Relations Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

"The cleaners' difficulty in getting APN/NZHerald to urge their contractors to discuss their contracts shows how hard it is for vulnerable workers to raise their concerns about workloads, pay and conditions, even under the current conditions. The Mapp Bill will only make matters far worse.

"This bill is an insidious piece of legislation, designed to strip away the employment rights of all workers in their first three months of employment..

"It is time to stand together with the cleaners on this. I call on the APN /Herald management to pick up the phone and urge their contractors to discuss the shameful wages and conditions faced by many of the people who clean central city office buildings in the dead of night. Usually, for the kind of low wages that force them to work several jobs in order to make ends meet, at terrible cost to their family lives.

"Many of the people employed in cleaning work are Maori, or Pacific Islanders. Across the economy, many Maori and Pacific Island people are locked out of jobs altogether, or confined to low paying jobs. Either way, the result is too many families living in poverty.

:The Mapp Bill will make this situation worse, not better. I am grateful that the Maori Party has supported my Minimum Wage ( Abolition of Age Discrimination) Amendment Bill that seeks to abolish youth rates.

"I hope the Maori Party do come to see that the Mapp Bill poses more threats that it offers opportunities to Maori and Pacific Island communities. In the meantime, I would like to congratulate the cleaners for their brave and principled Clean Start campaign, and urge the APN/Herald management to take some responsibility for their cleaning contractors, and to work constructively towards lifting the cleaners' wages and conditions."

ENDS

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