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Am I the only one whose hackles rise when I hear the term 'low skilled workers' in regard to the UK Government's future immigration policy, being officially announced today, knowing that this also covers cleaners?
Even ignoring the Coronavirus outbreak (yes - someone has to clean the facilities where the quarantined and the sick or deceased are housed and if they get it wrong, woe betide us all!) proper cleaning takes some real skill and thorough training and it saddens me that this is rarely acknowledged. Not all cleaners take their lives into their hands as they go about their work, but many of them do.
I reckon that instead of referring to workers in this sector as being low skilled, we should say it how it is and call them 'low paid'... for certainly they're paid too little for a job most of us have paltry knowledge of and far too little respect for - and one most of us wouldn't choose to do ourselves.
Is the cleaning industry going to be in trouble if the points system being announced isn’t challenged and changed? Yes, I think it is. And we'll all suffer as a result. There's an interesting analysis further down the page which backs this up.
I received a notification from Malvern Hills District Council this week, which said: "We are attempting to make bin collections today (Tuesday) so if it is your scheduled collection day leave your bins out as usual and will do as much of the area as possible. We will try and complete all collections but flooded roads may make that impossible. Current advice is leave your bin out in its usual place and we will get to it as soon as we can. Our crews are also supporting the clean-up effort in Tenbury. We have staff and vehicles helping to clean pavements and collect appliances, debris and other items from affected businesses and homes."
Seeing the devastation caused by the recent storms and heavy rains over huge swathes of the UK, it never occurred to me that the normal, day-to-day cleaning operations might still be underway, on top of everything else that now has to be dealt with (see, I do it too...)! I take my hat off to everyone involved in helping those whose lives have been turned upside down, to find some normality once more.
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20th February 2020