Saturday, 5 April 2008

Dutch cleaners' campaign assessed

Inspired by the success of the American Justice for Janitors campaign, FNV Bondgenoten last year launched an organising campaign among cleaners in the Netherlands. After a few months of campaigning, the cleaners won higher wages. Currently, the organising efforts are being consolidated through ‘issue fights’ and training courses for workplace activists.
The new left-wing free three-monthly magazine Klasse! has devoted a large article to an evaluation of the campaign.
Herrie Hoogenboom of FNV Bondgenoten says the campaign was not just successful in securing better conditions of employment for the cleaners; it also contributed to a more democratic union with more grassroots participation.
Hans Salavila, founder of Rebelact, a group of clown activists who supported the campaign, expresses a more critical view. He acknowledges that the cleaners have won important improvements. However, he says that the cleaners themselves were not really in control of the campaign, and that members of a supporting coalition were not involved in decisions about the campaign.
Article (in Dutch); cleaners’ campaign; more on Klasse!

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