UNI is in solidarity with cleaners and security workers who keep our communities running smoothly, often in the face of racism, sexism, and anti-union attacks
Unions and workers the world over are celebrating the 29th International Justice Day today by showing solidarity and appreciation for the cleaners and security officers who keep our world safe and clean.
These hardworking men and women rarely get the recognition they deserve. Cleaners, often immigrant women, work in the shadows of our economies, typically earning low and part-time wages. Security officers protect our offices, our hospitals, our schools, our transport, and our streets. They do all of this while working, long hours, alone and often for low pay.
“International Justice Day is not only a time to show our respect for cleaners and security officers but to redouble our commitment to stand with them in their struggle for better jobs and better lives,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union.
“These workers are critical in keeping our communities running smoothly, but their work goes undervalued. In many places, they experience xenophobia, sexism, and anti-union attacks. A union in this sector marks a big step towards dignity and respect and we will keep fighting with them to win unions across the world. We are proud to be in solidarity with these everyday superheroes,” Hoffman continued.
Justice Day was originally a remembrance of the brutal attack in 1990 by police of striking janitors in Los Angeles who were organizing with SEIU. And whilst those workers in L.A. were ultimately successful in winning a union and better rights, the struggle continues around the world for respect, dignity and fair wages. In almost 30 years, that first Justice Day has become international and spread across the world to more than 50 countries.
Our everyday superheroes are using this week to make their voices heard and calling for change. This year actions are taking place in over 70 cities around the world including:
- In New Zealand cleaners are fighting for a living wage agreement
- In Nepal security workers are demanding a sector-wide agreement to eliminate the companies that pay under minimum wage
- In Brazil they are defending trade union rights under attack from the Bolsanaro government
- In Kenya union members are fighting to clean up the security industry and rid the market of unscrupulous employers
- In Turkey workers are fighting to defend the right to organise in security companies
- In the US cleaners and security workers are fighting for a living wage
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