Monday, July 21, 2008

At least you weren't in tents - Cleaning chief

A letter in the Guardian at the weekend from Tom Gibbons of Cleanevent countered the paper's story about poor treatment of staff at Oxegen:

I wish to clarify some matters in your story (Cleaners for festival had to sleep in stables, July 12). Cleanevent UK brought 34 staff to the Oxegen festival in Ireland and informed all staff in advance of the accommodation arrangements. Our staff did not sleep on "concrete floors" but were in a clean, sanitised and refurbished stable block with heating, natural light, hot showers, and a 24-hour restaurant serving hot food, with a recreation area. In fact, our shower facilities were good enough to be used by some of the performers at the festival. Every member of staff had a bed, and no staff member paid for their own bed. We are not aware of any staff calling the police and the three staff members who felt dissatisfied with the accommodation were provided with free transport back to the UK. Cleanevent take our responsibility to our staff very seriously, and we feel that the accommodation provided during the Oxegen festival was as good as, if not better than, that provided at events such as Glastonbury, where contracted staff often sleep in tents.

By the company's own account elsewhere, though, there was a delay in the beds arriving so, at some point, there must have been more cleaners than there were beds.