Protest against pay cuts on International Justice Day for Cleaners
Tuesday 14 June 2011, 03pm
The Fair Deal for Cleaners campaign will mark International Justice
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Day for Cleaners with a protest outside the offices of the Department
of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation at 3.00 p.m. on Wednesday 15th June.
The protest is in response to proposals by the Minister, Richard Bruton,
to dismantle the Joint Labour Committee/Employment Regulation Order and
the Registered Employment Agreement wage setting mechanisms and his
refusal to meet representatives of campaigns to defend the low paid.
Over 23,000 people, mainly women, are employed in the contract cleaning
The protest will feature cleaners wearing their bibs and gloves and
forming a mass rubber glove fist of defiance against Minister Bruton’s
stated intention to cut the incomes for workers governed by Employment
Regulation Orders. The protest will also feature speeches from activists
working in the contract cleaning sector, a representative from the
National Women’s Council and Ethel Buckley, Sectoral Organiser with
“In difficult times, we know its right to support working families, not
to pull the rug out from under them. Cutting Sunday premiums and
overtime rates will not generate any new jobs, nor will it help to reduce
the government deficit. On the contrary, it will push more families on
to social welfare,” said SIPTU Sectoral Organiser, Ethel Buckley.
Lucia Fay, a cleaner at Beaumont Hospital, said that those supporting
the wage cuts had no understanding of the difficulties facing families
who depend on rates of pay which are just above the minimum wage.
“Most of us are paid the minimum rate for our sector of €9.50 an hour.
It was barely enough to live on before the imposition of the income levy
and the universal social charge. Now each week is a struggle just to make
ends meet. There are no luxuries when you work as a contract cleaner,
only bigger bills and less money.” said Lucia Fay who will also speak at