*Cleanzine-logo-10a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 18th July 2024 Issue no. 1123

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I’ve attended a lot of Awards functions over my years as a journalist but I don’t recall ever having come away, unable to get a speech made at an event, out of my head. And in this case it was two. I went to last week’s Kimberly-Clark Professional Golden Service Awards excited to discover who the winners were while also expecting – through the valuable networking opportunity such events offer, to find out how contractors were managing to pay their staff a ‘Living Wage’ with inflation rising as it is. I came away with so much more... The two impassioned speeches – one from Jim Melvin, chair of the British Cleaning Council, and the other from Toni D’Andrea, CEO of ISSA Pulire Network and director of ISSA EMEA, really gave us all food for thought and although they were completely different, they carried a similar message.

Jim was clearly incensed that despite all we did as an industry throughout the pandemic, there are still some amongst Government believing we are a low skilled industry that employs cheap foreign labour. How could they have forgotten so quickly, the important role cleaners played in keeping us all safe! And Jim rightly reminded us that it wasn’t just the cleaners, but the machinery service engineers and those keeping the supply chain going too, as without them, the cleaners couldn’t have functioned. Jim pointed out that the huge number of vacancies the industry’s trying to fill should be of major concern to Government, since without cleaners, everything will fall apart and the economy won’t recover. Now we’re aware of the difference proper cleaning can make to our health, we won’t put up with being in a dirty indoor environment, will we? There’s too much at stake.

Toni D’Andrea shared some interesting data about the cleaning industry globally. His ideas were fascinating and he put forward an excellent argument for why cleanliness should be considered an investment, rather than a cost. Like Jim, he alluded to the disaster that would befall us if all the cleaners downed tools and he highlighted the need for us to show respect and gratitude, “since only when we acknowledge the work others do as necessary to us all, can we feel we are part of a modern society.” I like that!

Both speeches feature below and they’re well worth a read. And if you have any thoughts on them or anything to add, do please let me know.



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Jan Hobbs

2nd June 2022

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