uni global union “world cup”

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments

uni-global-union_worldcupLast week mari martens, judy lok and christine monk-simon travelled to Nagasaki, Japan to represent the Dutch Union and to receive the union campaign “World Cup” for the Schoon Genoeg – campaign. For us, the best part of 2010 was about contributing to the visual side of the campaign. Search our blog and you’ll find plenty. Speaking to the audience from the Japanese conference hall, delegation member Judy Lok said that the action’s success was mainly due to the strikers’ persistence. In addition, the way in which they campaigned earned the respect of the public. Ms Lok said: “People supported us, politicians took up our cause, newspapers took our side, all of that helped us win this international prize.”

In the end, the cleaning workers got their salary rise, but there were more benefits to be reaped. Ms Lok, a member of the FNV-AbvaKabo union, said that it is dawning on employers that they should show some respect towards the cleaners. She explained the changed attitudes “have led to curbs on work pressure and to better working conditions, such as the availability of canteen facilities for the workers.”

Historic battle
The nine-week strike was the longest since a fishermen’s strike in 1933, historian Sjaak van der Velden of the International Institute of Social History (ISG) told reporters. It was described as “an historic battle” on the UNI Global Union’s website. When the cleaners suspended work, rubbish piled up in public places like railway stations and airports. Litter bins in university buildings, train interiors and government offices were not emptied and spilled over. After six weeks, employers and unions began tentative talks about the strikers’ demands. The rest is history. And yes, we’re a little proud too 😉

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