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MEDIA RELEASE   The 15th of June is International Justice Day for Cleaners.

This year, on the day’s 30th anniversary, recognising the work of cleaners is more important than ever.

Australia’s cleaners will join cleaners across the globe to draw attention to issues facing the workforce. Cleaners working in hospitals, schools and in our communities are stopping the spread of COVID-19. Cleaners are being called ‘heroes’ for being at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis but they need more than just the new job title: they need personal protective equipment (PPE), decent wages, respect in the workplace and paid leave when impacted by COVID-19.

Australia’s cleaners have stepped up in the crisis and have been working harder than ever. Today across the country they will be drawing attention to issues affecting the workforce during the coronavirus crisis (see actions listed below). Issues being highlighted at actions today include enhanced cleaning and hours being wound back prematurely, lack of job security and lack of direct Government employment.

United Workers Union, the cleaners’ union, congratulates our cleaners for their efforts at the forefront of the crisis.

Lyndal Ryan, cleaning spokesperson for United Workers Union says, “The coronavirus crisis has shown just how crucial our cleaners are.

“Cleaners across Australia will be taking action today to demand respect in their workplaces. Cleaners will be drawing attention to the shocking issues they still face in their workplaces during this crisis.

“This pandemic is showing that essential workers have been invisible for far too long. Our cleaners have been subject to constant cuts to pay and a lack of respect in the workplace. But the crisis has shown our whole community that cleaners need fair pay and safe working conditions.

“Today is a day to show respect to our cleaners and thank them for being on the frontline. Their hard work will allow our economy to reopen.

“Cleaning jobs must be better into the future. Cleaners deserve decent wages and secure work now, more than ever.”