Olga Da Cruz is a J4J member and leader. Last week she submitted a letter to CBC’s Sunday Edition in response to a recent episode. Here it is:
My name is Olga Da Cruz and have been working as a cleaner for seven years. I work at an office tower in Toronto on Bay street. I heard this show and was happy to hear some important points made about the struggle of cleaners especially in grocery stores. It is true that there are many cleaners who are still working in bad conditions, and often those cleaners are taken advantage of.
However, I also think that some important points were missed. Over the last dozen years over 3,000 Janitors have rallied together under the Justice for Janitors banner, who have worked for sub contractors at office buildings, malls, universities, courthouses, airports and more in the Greater Toronto Area.
Through our union SEIU, we have managed to win paid sick days, wage increases, a benefit plan, and most recently a pension plan. We are still fighting to address our concerns during this pandemic, and have launched a campaign called From Invisible to Essential. Together we are demanding a $2 increase, to keep cleaners employed, and for the proper training and PPE so we can do our jobs SAFELY.
Justice for Janitors has been at the front of fighting to improve conditions for cleaners all over Canada and I invite anyone facing difficult working conditions to join us! Even during this pandemic, we can form a union and win. This is especially important now because we need to make sure everyone is working safely. If you want to improve conditions at work, please reach out to Justice for Janitors and we will be happy to help you.