This week, cleaning union leader Lina Martinez, who lives in Melbourne, was featured in The Age.
Lina is a biomedicine student who has become an outspoken activist, demanding fair wages and good conditions for cleaners across the CBD and beyond.
The article reports that international student cleaners often earn just "$15 cash in hand, no WorkCover". "Cleaning is not easy," says Lina, "it’s actually hard and it’s not anyone’s ideal job, but [I] need the money. [Cleaners] do whatever job they can get because they need it."
Since joining United Voice, Lina has signed up workmates to the union, taken part in countless protests and led negotiations with her employer, the Glad Group, who recently became the first major contractor to sign the Clean Start Agreement. Clean Start ensures respect, fair wages and job security for all cleaners, as well as and equal pay and equal rights for international students.