In early February, the Asito cleaners assembled twice on campus to protest the high pressure of work, as well as the news that a number of employees would be assigned fewer work hours on campus.
“Asito won’t be forcing anyone to transfer anymore, but they will be talking with employees to see whether they will volunteer working a share of their hours at a different location,” explains FNV’s Renate Bos after talking with Asito representatives. “I’ve suggested looking into what would actually persuade cleaners to help Asito solve its problem. A new bike that they can use to travel to the other location, for example, or an internal training course or more flexible work hours.”
‘Incidentally, we don’t think it’s too heavy’
Asito spokesman Sander Haas confirms that there are no plans to force the cleaners to work elsewhere. “We never forced them to do anything,” claims Haas. However, the company did send the employees a letter that informed them that they could either move to a different workplace or lose a share of their hours. Otherwise – threatened Asito – the company would take the matter to court and cancel their hours that way. “Our initial communication on this matter was poor,” Haas acknowledges. “We’ll be doing a better job from now on.” However, when we bring up a possible compensation system – one of the conclusions that Bos took home from the talks – the spokesman doesn’t know what we’re on about.
Asito will be looking into the workload issue. “Incidentally, we don’t think it’s too heavy,” says Haas. “But the tasks on campus have changed slightly. So we’ll be examining how long employees spend on a particular task and compare it to the allotted time.”
Four Asito cleaners received an official warning from their employer in the wake of the February protests. “It was a heated debate, and some things were said. However, I believe these warnings are out of proportion to what actually went down. Initially, we didn’t discuss the matter any further with the employees, but we hope to meet with them soon. The purpose of these talks is to see whether we can revoke the official warnings – that’s what we’ve agreed with Asito. Because otherwise, a letter like that ends up in your file and could bite you in the tail later on,” says Bos.
Haas can already tell us that this isn’t going to happen in three of the four cases. “We’ll be discussing the matter with these employees, but they weren’t issued a warning for nothing. There were a number of serious incidents, so the letters won’t be torn up any time soon.”
In mid-May, Asito will once again sit around the table with the union to evaluate which progress has been made in the review of the workload and the consultations with the cleaners.