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20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

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17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

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14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

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11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Cleaners want eight-hour working day

16 June 2008 - This morning, cleaners handed out leaflets to employees arriving at the UWV social security administration, demanding an eight-hour working day. "There's a friendly approach and a not-so-friendly approach, and we'll try them both", union official Mari Martens said.

Many cleaners only get to work as much as three hours at one site. In order to make a living, they have to combine various jobs. Since they have to travel from one site to another, it may take them as much as sixteen hours to earn eight hours' wages, according to trade union FNV Bondgenoten.

Cleaner Sila Ghiraw: "This situation is caused by clients trying to relegate cleaners to the most impossible hours. As if we don't belong. Even though it's really not a problem in most buildings to have us clean during the day, without interruptions".

If cleaners would be allowed to work during the day rather than in the evening, they could spend the evening with their families, the union argues.

It is government policy to promote part-time workers expanding the number of hours they work. Public institutions like the UWV should set an example, FNV Bondgenoten argues. The union has sent the UWV a letter to that effect, but since it did not receive a reply, it is now asking UWV employees to raise the issue with their employer.

The cleaners have adopted a strategy of targeting not only the cleaning companies, but also the clients of those companies, since the clients very much dictate conditions in the cleaning sector. The action at the UWV is the start of a broader campaign for an eight-hour working day.

Last year, the cleaners waged a successful campaign for a living wage and for the right to organise.

Cleaners' campaign


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