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Oct. 26 – US: Supermarket Janitors Demand Green Cleaning Standards

From New America Media:

When supermarket janitors in Local 1877 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) rallied last month at Safeway and Lucky stores in San Jose, Calif., they weren’t only demanding improved wages and health benefits. They were calling for the adoption of green cleaning standards to make their jobs safer. Earlier this year, SEIU janitors in Southern California made similar demands…They were calling attention to the safety of chemicals used to clean supermarkets.

Martha Aragon has been working as a janitor for Safeway in Roseville, Calif., for three years.. ..Green cleaning standards entails not only the use of nontoxic products, she said, but also proper training on how to dilute and dispose of chemicals, and equipment like safety goggles and gloves.

One example is San Francisco’s green purchasing program, which includes an approved list of nontoxic commercial cleaners. Janitors who clean city-owned some cases, are required to use products from the approved list. Products are vetted, and whenever possible those with safer ingredients are used…Other institutions have adopted green cleaning standards to protect worker health, including local governments, schools, prisons, office buildings and janitorial services companies. SEIU is following the trend.

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