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Cleaners campaign for safer workplaces

MEDIA RELEASE
26 07 06

Cleaners campaign for safer workplaces


While many of us are sleeping, cleaners go about their work in schools and office blocks around New Zealand. Cleaners work at unsociable times and sometimes in dangerous conditions and they are calling for change.

The recent attack on a West Auckland primary school cleaner shows how vulnerable cleaners are as they work at night, often on their own, and often without the presence of security.

Not only are work conditions poor, but cleaners are paid as little as $10.95 an hour and receive very little recognition for their work.

The contracting out of cleaning work can exacerbate this problem. NZ Council of Trade Unions research shows that work arrangements such as contracting and casual work has resulted in the deterioration of health and safety for workers.

“Cleaners deserve respect for their work and safety while they do it,” said Auckland school cleaner and Service & Food Workers Union member Chris Katia.

“Our thoughts are with school cleaner Baoshan Han who was punched and kicked and to the family, friends and colleagues of teacher Lois Dear who was found beaten to death in her school classroom – none of us deserve violence in the workplace,” said Mr Katia.

Cleaners in New Zealand and around Australia are campaigning for safer working conditions and for respect for their work with their Clean Start: Fair Deal for Cleaners campaign.

Cleaners call on the public to support their global campaign and to support the safety of all workers.

ENDS

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