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Today, the people of Britain go to the polls and I can’t remember a general election that has been so exciting and one in which so many parties have items in their manifestos that could have such an impact on our industry. I’d love to have your thoughts on the pledges to massively increase the National Minimum Wage and those concerning immigration – and no doubt I’ll get them after what I’m about to say…
I’m a strong supporter of the London Living Wage and am pleased that so many employers in our industry are paying it. Many, however, are not - and while I’m aware that people have businesses to keep afloat, I have a household to run, money’s tight and I don’t think it’s fair that my taxes should go towards topping up other people’s pay when their often wealthy employers should be paying them enough to live on in the first place.
A small room in a shared house in my road is going for £100 a week plus bills. How can someone on minimum wage or a zero hours contract afford that? And when you’re doing a full working week, where’s the dignity in having to claim benefits to top up your income so you can pay your rent and feed your family? It’s not really on, is it?
I know the cost of living is less outside London and the South East, but wonder whether the National Minimum Wage is really high enough for those earning it, to be able to live. And how will they be able to save for retirement, when earning so little?
Some parties are promising to control the numbers or ‘calibre’ of those coming into our country. Our industry relies heavily on immigrant workers and many employers have entire contracts serviced by cleaners from a particular country who look after recruitment if more cleaners are needed; they tell me they can’t get the Brits to do the work and that if they do, turnover is high.
Wherever you are in the chain, how will any changes in legislation affect you and how do you plan to overcome the problems they might present (or spend the extra money)? And do you agree or disagree with the comments I’ve made today? If you’re one of our thousands of overseas readers, what do you think about potential changes to our immigration laws? Please do let me know!
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This Week's News
The development organisation, which has been working in Nepal since 1987, will work with long established partners in five regions providing water purification tablets and hygiene kits to survivors, ensuring safe water in areas where the supply has been cut off and installing emergency sanitation measures such as pit latrines and trenches.
Principle Cleaning is once again leading the way in the cleaning industry by having gained a coveted CIMS accreditation and in so doing has become Europe's very first cleaning contractor to achieve it.
Launched by global association ISSA, the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) is the first consensus-based management standard that outlines the primary characteristics of a successful, quality cleaning organisation.
The European Tissue Symposium, ETS, has announced that it will be taking part in the International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC) in order to stress the importance of proper hand drying as a part of optimal hand hygiene.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 16th - 19th June, ICPIC provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in the prevention of healthcare-associated infection and control of antimicrobial resistance.
The 16th Shanghai International Nonwovens Conference & Exhibition (SINCE), combined with Asia Nonwovens Exhibition and Conference (ANEX) will be held in Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre, from 13th - 15th May, 2015.
Ecoppia, a developer of automated, water-free photovoltaic (PV) solar panel cleaning solutions, has announced that its E4 robotic solar panel cleaning system is now fully operational on five additional PV production facilities in the Middle East, totalling more than 35 MW.
With these new systems in its portfolio, Ecoppia's E4 system is now cleaning approximately five million panels every month.
Just prior to the State Opening of Parliament and the Trooping of the Colour at St James's Park, is not the best time for the people responsible for cleaning those locations to be on strike - but that is what we may be facing unless an ongoing dispute can be quickly resolved.
Further to a recent news story on the subject, GMB members employed by OCS in Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James's Park, Green Park, Grosvenor Square and Brompton Cemetery in London are being balloted for strike action over OCS serving notice to move from weekly to monthly pay without - according to the Union - agreement with staff and on a number of other issues.
Hong Kong's Department of Health (DH), through a series of events and promotional materials, called for healthcare workers and the public to pay attention to hand hygiene in support of the annual Hand Hygiene Awareness Day on May 5th.
Proper hand hygiene is the key element to infection control in healthcare settings and also a good habit for the general public. Since 2005, Hong Kong has pledged support to the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s first global patient safety challenge, 'Clean Care is Safer Care', and is committed to promoting good hand hygiene to control the spread of infectious diseases.
The OmniFlex range is a modular cleaning system that allows building managers and cleaners on tight budgets to 'cross over' from mopping to hygienic, automated cleaning in easy and highly cost-effective steps.
Steam Clean Systems, the Sussex based steam cleaner specialist, has developed a new chewing gum removal system. Named ‘Gum Gulper’, this standalone system utilises super-heated steam and a biodegradable detergent to break down the gum.
Its vacuum feature then allows the operator to remove the slurry – something many other standalone systems leave behind – so the surface is left both clean and dry.
Earlier this week, SCA, the producer of the Tork brand of Away-from-Home professional hygiene products, announced the launch of a new, extremely low-lint wiper for technical cleaning tasks involving sensitive surfaces.
Designed to meet the needs of clients in lint and static electricity-sensitive industries such as electronics, aircraft manufacturing, printing, vehicle painting and food processing, the Tork Industrial Low-Lint Cleaning Cloth delivers extremely low-lint cleaning, certified anti-static properties, excellent solvent use and a high absorption capacity of oil and water.
Detailed information on all their chemicals is readily available from their website, and luckily, due to the 'says what is does' labelling policy, customers know exactly what they are looking for, and are examining the correct product information without any confusion!
TC Facilities Management has been awarded the cleaning contract at a new build distribution centre in Daventry, following a rigorous tender process, TCFM is providing all area cleaning at this 980,000sq.ft general merchandise facility, located in the heartland of the distribution centre world. The company is also celebrating other contract wins.
Leading TCFM’s distribution centre sales growth, business development manager Mark Parish comments of the Daventry new build contract:
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Recent UK News
James Briggs, one of the UK's largest independent aerosol and speciality chemicals manufacturers, announced yesterday that it has acquired the business and assets of Premiere Products, the renowned manufacturer of branded and private label janitorial cleaning products.
This can be a very costly exercise - especially if the machine has been supplied by a company that is located a long distance away from where the machine is to be used.
“Two main comments were made,” she tells us:
(1) Shops selling food and drink to be consumed on the premises should have a customer loo available – nothing fancy; just a clean loo and wash basin with toilet tissue, soap and drying facilities
Events & Exhibitions
Sustainable Cleaning Summit
ISSA North America
Loo of the Year Awards
Budapest Cleaning Show