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Good day for cleaners comes after years of work

Darien Fenton
Labour List MP Media Statement

Friday 28 March 2008

Good day for cleaners comes after years of work

The government signing today of the unprecedented “Principles for a Sustainable Property Services Industry” has capped off many years of advocacy work for cleaners in the commercial cleaning industry for Labour MP, Darien Fenton.

Prior to her election to parliament, Darien represented cleaners in Property Services in her role as National Secretary of the Service & Food Workers Union (SFWU).

“Ten years ago, cleaners, through their union, began a campaign to improve work and pay in the cleaning industry” says Ms Fenton.

“The cleaners launched the nation’s first-ever “toilet strike” and set demands for fairer pay, protection in situations of contract or employer change and quality jobs.

“In my previous role as a representative for cleaners and since coming to parliament, I have strongly advocated for improvements for cleaners and other low paid workers.

“The Labour-led government is delivering for cleaners. Labour has passed legislation to protect vulnerable cleaners where contractors change hands, cleaners now enjoy four weeks annual leave and paid parental leave, and the increases to the minimum wage have helped push up pay for cleaners.

“The agreement signed today sets a new benchmark for the government in taking the lead to improve the lives of low paid and vulnerable workers.

“None of this would have been possible without the determined campaigning of the cleaners and their union, the SFWU. But equally, it would not have been possible without a Labour-led government.”

“This is a good day for cleaners, and a good day for the industry. I congratulate all of the stakeholders who have contributed to this important milestone,” says Darien.


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