14 June 2012
Cleaners and security guards are some of the lowest paid and most exploited workers in the world yet they provide services that we cannot live without, whether it is cleaning international airports, major train stations, government buildings and corporate headquarters or industrial sites or providing security to embassies, businesses or other government offices.
PCS is affiliated to Union Network International (UNI) the skills and services international which encourages solidarity across borders, raises issues of common concern with employers, governments and international bodies - and promotes trade union rights worldwide.
UNI has more than 900 affiliated unions in 140 countries around the world, representing more than 15 million members.
Many security guards and cleaners are immigrants and women. They have to fight every day to gain dignity and respect on the job. Many employers do not even honour the legally required minimum pay and benefit standards for these workers—much less pay them a living wage.
Workers are on strike over these issues as International Justice Day, 15 June 2012, approaches. Cleaners in Houston in the United States are striking for decent wages and to protest intimidation by employers for standing up for their rights. Security guards in Norway are striking to force companies to deliver on wage promises that have been made for years but never delivered.
Within PCS we have seen G4S security staff make history by taking strike action in DWP workplaces in our dispute over industrial relations and cleaners and guards working in courts and tribunals look likely to enter into a dispute on pay having received no pay increase for the last three years. Many PCS members on government contracts do not receive the Living Wage.
This Friday, 15 June, on International Justice Day, we urge all PCS members to stand with our international brothers and sisters in demanding dignity and respect on the job for cleaners and security guards throughout the world.
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