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I've long admired the work of multi-award-winning British director Ken Loach, but only recently learned that he has a habit of championing the underdog, not just through his film work, but in real life too. It was quite by chance I discovered he'd rejected the Turin Festival award, back in 2012, in support of struggling cleaning and security staff. In rejecting the award, he referred to the “serious problem” of contracting out services under the pretext of saving money, with the winning contractor, once appointed, cutting jobs and keeping wages low.
"It's a recipe designed to fuel conflict," he said. "The fact that this happens all over Europe does not make this practice acceptable. In Turin the cleaning and security services of the National Cinema Museum have been outsourced. After a cut in salaries, the workers have reported bullying and mistreatment. Several people have been fired. The most underpaid workers, the most vulnerable, have lost their jobs to oppose a pay cut. Obviously, it is hard for us to distract ourselves from the details of a dispute taking place in another country, with working practices different than ours, but that doesn't mean that the principles are unclear. In this situation, the organisation that provides services cannot close its eyes, but must take responsibility for the people who work for it, even if they are employed by an outside firm. I would expect the Museum, in this case, to have dialogue with workers and their unions, to ensure the re-recruitment of fired workers and rethink its own outsourcing policy. It is not right that the poorest have to pay the price for an economic crisis that they are not responsible for. We made a film dedicated to this very topic - 'Bread and Roses'. How could I not respond to a solidarity request from workers who have been fired for fighting for their rights? Accepting the award would be weak and hypocritical behaviour."
Those in our industry know that outsourcing CAN work in the right hands. Many large UK contractors, for example, pay a proper 'living wage' according to Living Wage UK ideals and treat their staff well, while some overseas contractors do similar. Their size allows them to buy equipment & consumables at reduced rates, which enables them to pay an acceptable wage. Sadly, too many companies still keep the profits to themselves though. Good on Ken Loach for recognising the difference & standing up for the lower paid! And good on those companies which recognise that cleaning staff are an essential part of the team and should be adequately rewarded for their expertise.
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This Week's News
The European Cleaning & Facility Services Industry is calling for a more flexible approach to the European Commission's minimum wage proposals, presented in October 2020 and subsequently discussed by the European Parliament and the European Council.
While the two institutions have just reached agreement on their respective positions to go to the trialogue negotiations, EFCI is keen to push the need for more flexibility.
Senior figures at the BCC are concerned that there has been a lapse in actions to achieve several key aims, which have now become even more vital due to the serious challenges the sector is facing.
Actizone F5 is formulated with a new revolutionary long-lasting technology that reduces bacteria by 99.9% on hard non-porous surfaces for 24 hours, even after multiple touches. It provides initial disinfection after five minutes contact time against a wide range of viruses and bacteria including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
Between April 2020 to March 2021, Pembrokeshire Council achieved a phenomenal recycling rate of 73.2%.
Cleaners removing yellow and black social distancing tape from carpets and hard flooring are left with a tacky residue to contend with, says the company, adding that even a temporary tape removal and if required, re-application, can help protect the carpet from long-term damage.
Jangro, the largest network of independent janitorial and cleaning distributors in the UK and Ireland, tells us it was excited to launch a brand new range of cleaning products at The Cleaning Show 2021, helping its customers to make more sustainable purchases and reduce their carbon footprint.
The ntrl portfolio comprises 13 products ideal for cleaning surfaces in a variety of environments, from kitchens through to washrooms.
"Our Multiwash II has been the benchmark for scrubber dryers for many years, and we are delighted to be launching the new Multiwash Pro range," says Truvox International executive director, Gordon McVean.
"The new three-product range washes, scrubs and dries in a single pass, giving improved and unrivalled cleaning results, and leaving floors ready for your customers and staff to walk on."
With COP26 negotiations having drawn to a close, the launch of a new social enterprise, Amplify Goods, shows how 'climate positive' products can help businesses bring the transition to Net Zero to life through their supply chains.
Led, owned, and funded by diverse women, Amplify Goods has been established to do things differently by addressing the gender imbalance in climate discussions and in the B2B products world.
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