Cleaners warned by union of job to clean quarantine centre

Union warns cleaners of job offer to clean quarantine station for Diamond Princess crew in Japan.

Australian cleaners employed by Broadspectrum have been approached by supervisors requesting they go to Japan to clean a quarantine station for Diamond Princess crew, according to United Workers Union.

The workers’ union says it is “extremely concerned” by the offer and is urging employees, many of whom are understood to be employed as school cleaners in NSW, to not take up the service company’s offer.

According to the union, cleaners received a text message about the job opportunity on Monday.

“A really great opportunity has arrived. Would you like to earn some good money … all you need is a valid passport to go to Japan and clean for 6 days,” the text stated.

United Workers Union said it has texted all Broadspectrum members with the message: “United Workers Union would not recommend accepting this offer. This is specialised cleaning, requiring extra training and equipment. We also don’t know what the health and safety rules are in Japan so would be concerned that appropriate steps are not being taken to protect workers.”

Lyndal Ryan, United Workers Union director of property services said: “We are very concerned with this targeting of our members employed in schools. Our members have specific skills and knowledge in cleaning the state’s education facilities, not in cleaning during an extreme public health crisis in another country. We are also concerned that Broadspectrum are not across the current upgraded Australian Government warnings on travel to Japan.

“We have advised our members to not accept this offer. To put their health in danger and then risk being away from the workplace and their families for several weeks due to quarantine is not worth the few extra bucks Broadspectrum might plan to throw their way.”

A spokeswoman for Broadspectrum told Fairfax Media it took the safety of its workers “very seriously” and said cleaners approached on Monday would not be cleaning the ship.

“All of our people who have nominated themselves to support the quarantine efforts in Japan will go through the highest level of medical safety advice and support before and while working there. They will be working from a sanitised facility provided by the Japanese government, not located on the Diamond Princess.

“This will be under the strictest safety and medical processes managed by Aspen Medical.”

INCLEAN contacted Broadspectrum for comment but did not respond prior to publication

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