SIPTU has a major campaign to raise and protect standards in the contract cleaning industry. Fair Deal for Cleaners is about organising workers for better jobs, better conditions, safe working practices and respect for the hard work that cleaners do.

Contract Cleaners clean our hospitals, public transport, schools, colleges, factories, offices and workplaces. They play a crucial role in our communities ensuring that vital facilities are clean and safe for users. But, unfortunately the work they do is often undervalued by society and by their own employers.

Contract cleaning, by its nature, is based on competitive tendering. This often results in contractors underbidding each other to secure or retain a contract. In the current economic climate and with labour representing the bulk of operating cost, some contractors are engaged in a ‘race to the bottom’ reducing working hours, reducing pay and other terms, laying off staff and intensifying workloads in order to make profit. This trend of undercutting and pressuring workers to ‘speed up’ is bad for workers, bad for responsible contractors, bad for clients and bad for our communities.

Cleaners are organising to fight for a fairer deal. Where workers have formed a strong union on the job and demanded a voice at work, real gains have been made. By organising and negotiating with their contractors, workers on organised sites have managed to agree working hours that allow cleaners to earn a living and are sufficient to get the job done in a safe and professional manner.  Workers have also seen down bullies to ensure that cleaners are treated with dignity and respect while on the job.   

For more information on the campaign or on how to organise your workplace contact the campaign team today on 01 858 6411 or email egallagher@siptu.ie.


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