Launched in April 2020 by seven leading organizations in the industry, the Cleaning Coalition of America is focused on advocating for the interests of cleaning services professionals nationwide. During the COVID-19 crisis, the cleaning sector is playing a vital role keeping essential services running. Coalition member companies clean, disinfect and sanitize hospitals, health systems and research labs, airports and airplanes, public transit systems, warehouses, and other important spaces. And, cleaning services will be on the front lines to ensure commercial office buildings, K-12 schools, universities, museums, stadiums, shopping centers and other commercial and public spaces in all 50 states are ready for a return to normal.
“The coronavirus crisis has us all rethinking who is essential, and it’s the crews of cleaners working behind the scenes fighting this virus that will allow us to maintain critical operations and business services during this difficult time. If these places aren’t cleaned and disinfected, other essential workers will be unable to do their jobs,” said Josh Feinberg, President of the Cleaning Coalition of America and Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer at ABM Industries, a Coalition Board Member. “Cleaners are among today’s unsung heroes. Our workers will get America back to work.”
The contract cleaning services industry employs more than one million workers in cities, suburbs and small towns across the country. As the Coalition points out, they work behind the scenes and off-hours, so they often remain unseen and overlooked by the public — and by policymakers.
“As elected officials look to provide relief for individuals and companies hardest hit by coronavirus, unfortunately, the commercial cleaning industry remains unrecognized. People rely on cleaners to clean and disinfect but take for granted this critical asset in the fight against COVID-19. We need support to get through this crisis and economic shutdown so that we can be ready on Day One to help America get back to business,” said W. Carl Drew, Treasurer of the Coalition and Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operating Officer of Harvard Maintenance, a Coalition Board Member.
The Coalition is asking Congress and the Administration to support targeted measures that will help ensure the continuity of business operations and the employment of commercial cleaners:
- Ensure that professional cleaners have priority access to personal protective equipment (PPE), including disinfectants, gloves, masks, hand sanitizers, and other materials needed to combat the spread of coronavirus.
- Provide additional funds in the form of grants or tax credits to keep professional cleaners on the payroll so that cleaning companies can get public places cleaned and ready for everyday use before the economy reopens.
- Provide well-defined regulatory guidance and clear oversight around liability for companies and organizations involved in the frontline fight against coronavirus; and
- Expand healthcare coverage for workers to ensure they have access to healthcare and protection from COVID-related illness at no cost to them.
“We are looking to preserve jobs and maintain access to much needed personal protective equipment for our workers, so that they can continue to do their jobs which are an essential part of getting the American economy moving again,” said J. Paul Saccone, Chief Executive Officer of Able Services, a Coalition Board Member.
The founding members of the Coalition:
BSCAI (Building Service Contractors Association International)
Collins Building Services (CBS)
SBM Site Services
For more information, visit the Cleaning Coalition of America website.