Research: a third of cleaners have to deal with bullying and other undesirable behaviour

Research: a third of cleaners have to deal with bullying and other undesirable behaviour

Many cleaners face discrimination in the workplace, according to research by trade unions and employers in the cleaning industry. More than a third of the surveyed cleaners say in the survey that colleagues or they themselves are discriminated against during their work. This discrimination manifests itself in behavior such as bullying, ignoring, excluding, making jokes or intimidating.

“The results are shocking,” says Rob Rommelse, director of the employers’ organization Cleaning Netherlands. “This is not what you want as an employer.” FNV sector director Renate Bos calls the number of cleaners who have to deal with discrimination “appallingly high”. At the same time, both Rommelse and Bos find the results “not surprising”. Both say they have been receiving signals about discrimination from the sector for some time – it was one of the reasons that the investigation was carried out. Rommelse: “If you don’t have the guts to ask about discrimination, no progress is possible.”

Origin and skin color

The cleaners surveyed (nearly 300 people completed the survey) said they mainly encountered discrimination based on origin, skin color or religion. In the open answers, people also indicated that they also had to deal with discrimination on the basis of class.

In the study, various (anonymous) cleaners are quoted about their experiences. For example, one writes: “Some companies I work for see me as a stupid and poor person, and they say this to me.” And another wrote: “If people think you’re inferior because you’re a cleaning lady, you can’t change that. It occurs on a large scale. I have been in the business for 25 years and have experienced this many times.”

The study also describes various situations in which cleaners were confronted with discrimination. For example, two temporary workers were sent home because of their faith. Other women were bullied from the workplace – they were said to be ‘too old’ to handle the cleaning work. According to the report, it is not only customers who are guilty of discrimination – it also occurs among managers and colleagues.

Also read this piece about cleaners: “It would be nice if the appreciation continues after corona time”

Rosy picture

The research probably still paints a too rosy picture, the researchers write. Many people who are poorly literate or who do not speak Dutch work in the cleaning sector. They are ‘a vulnerable group when it comes to discrimination’, but there is a high probability that they have not completed the survey.

In the latest collective labor agreement for the cleaning industry, unions and employers decided to ‘promote a healthy and safe workplace’, including research into discriminatory behavior in the workplace. About 125,000 employees are covered by this cleaning collective agreement. The research report was already completed a year ago. Both parties decided to publish the investigation only now because they first wanted to have an action plan. Bos: „We didn’t just want to shout ‘Alas and woe’. That didn’t help the cleaners.”

Managers can now follow online courses, in which they learn, among other things, to recognize and discuss discrimination. There is a website for employees where they can go with questions about undesirable behaviour.

Research: a third of cleaners have to deal with bullying and other undesirable behaviour
Source link Research: a third of cleaners have to deal with bullying and other undesirable behaviour

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