Thursday, 18 October 2007

Support for cleaners’ campaign

The progressive movement is too defensive and should become more creative, find Thijs Vissia and Merijn Oudenampsen of Flexmens. They want to improve the situation of precarious workers, among them cleaners at Schiphol Airport.
Flexmens wants to combine social critique with marketing and design. “You can learn quite a bit from marketing experts. The problem of many progressive movements is that they seclude and marginalise themselves, also in their aesthetics. If you want to reach a new public, you will have to understand the popular culture”.
“It also has to do with the kind of language you use. Do you use words that instantly signal: this is the position we think is OK? Or do you use a more open language, trying to get people to think about those issues themselves?”
Flexmens is supporting an organising campaign among Schiphol cleaners. “We are going to help them get in touch with other social movements. The idea is to get a lot of pledges of support from social organisations, social movements, churches, tenants’ organisations”.
Union FNV Bondgenoten is working with the American services union SEIU to organise the Schiphol cleaners. SEIU has launched highly successful Justice for Janitors campaigns in the US and is now trying to form a global alliance of cleaner activists.
On Monday 15 October at 8 pm, an information meeting on the campaign will be held in at Broeinest in Amsterdam. Interview with Oudenampsen and Vissia (in Dutch).

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