Your industry news - first Number 1 for Recruitment
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Cleanzine - the original Cleaning & Hygiene industry e-news
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I normally have a somewhat leisurely return to producing Cleanzine following our annual break - particularly as so many European and North American readers still haven't finished their own holidays. This time has been different though, thanks to the Equalities & Human Rights Commission's report into the treatment of cleaners in the UK. I now know what 'having the phone ringing off the hook' means! It was clear from all the calls that I had to stop holidaying and read the report, published just after last issue of Cleanzine was broadcast, to see what had inspired so many people to get in touch.
What I found disturbed me. It's not the conditions that some cleaners have to endure, or even the fact that only a very small proportion of the industry was involved in compiling the report on what is one of the largest industries in the UK - both worrying in themselves - but more the words in it:
"Some cleaners were denied access to staff canteens, and some had to eat their meals in cupboards full of mops, buckets and cleaning chemicals."
Doesn't that ring any bells? Although this report is supposed to be based on findings of a study launched in September 2013, I'd lay money on the fact that we published those very words in Cleanzine around six years ago. After all, the image of a cleaner suffering the indignity of eating lunch in a cleaning cupboard is a hard one to shake off, isn't it?
I wonder how much more of the lengthy report is based on old information and is perhaps, no longer valid? I'm on a mission to uncover my article which I believe contained those words, so I can compare the findings with those of this new report. I'll get back to you on that in a couple of weeks but in the meantime am including two of the emails received on the subject, below.
The report summary and links to the larger work are included. Please feel free to let me know what you think!
I've just registered to visit what promises to be an excellent cleaning show in Glasgow next week. If you haven't registered yet, you can do so via:
Hope to see you there!
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28th August 2014