Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cleaners fighting for a living wage

Yet more from the greedy exploitative world of capitalist bastards…..

Having worked as a cleaner a couple of times in my life, it was good to read that my union the T&G has set up a campaign called “Justice for Cleaners”. One of the places I worked for the union had been smashed therefore pay and conditions were appalling and so was health and safety. Working as a cleaner I was treated like I was invisible as people looked straight through me like I didn’t exist. So, it is refreshing to read about Abiola Arowolo a cleaner at City investment bank Goldman Sachs, who along with other cleaners is fighting for a living wage. While one of the senior bankers there is estimated to be worth £150m, she earns £6.20 an hour. She works from 10pm to 6am and after finishing she goes off to another cleaning job. Co-worker Kwasi Agyemang-Prempeh also has to cram in a second job to make ends meet.

She rightly argues that, “Money is involved, but we also deserve respect.” The average full-time staff member working in the Square Mile received a 21% pay rise which translated means the average male salary is something around £100,000. But cleaners like Abiola saw her pay go up by……. 4.5%.

100 cleaners, whose jobs are outsourced to contractor Mitie, work for Goldman Sachs. Mitie, who incidentally had a turn over for the year 2005 of £818.6 million. Profits were £35.9 million before tax and £21.6 million. The cleaners are paid £6.20 an hour. Well, translated, that means the rich get even richer whilst cleaners like Kwasi and Abiola get shafted.

Good luck to the campaign and to the activists involved….