One cleaning firm is handing out a special pandemic bonus of close to $1 million to its cleaners and other employees. On the generous reward for his employees, Mr Abdul Aziz Yusof, the chief executive of Cleaning Express shared that during the pandemic, there was a shortage of manpower and resources, yet his workers remained motivated.
“This bonus is to show our appreciation for their contributions and sacrifices.”
Indeed, in the past year, frontliners and cleaners have had to face many challenges in terms of heavier workload and the surge in demand for cleaning services. Cleaning Express is among some of the companies who recognise the efforts of their employees and have gone out to show their appreciation in practical ways.
Mr Peter Tan, 70, is one of the cleaners of the cleaning firm who have already received part of the $1,500 pandemic bonus. He has been with the company for ten years. “Because we’ve got this extra money, there is less burden on me,” Mr Tan shared.
The one-off bonus is in addition to the staff’s annual bonuses. According to the Progressive Wage Model (PWM guidelines, Singaporean cleaners must be paid a yearly bonus of at least two weeks of their basic monthly wages. The PWM, first introduced by the National Trades Union Congress, benefits workers by mapping out a clear career pathway for their wages to rise along with training and improvements in productivity and standards. At the same time, higher productivity improves business profits for employers.
The CEO of This Cleaning Firm Understands and Cares
“People look at you differently when they see you washing the toilets or mopping floors. They wouldn’t even look at me, smile or return a greeting,” Mr Aziz understood the hardship faced by many of his workers. Apparently, when he was 13, his father made him go to work with him and learn how to be a janitor. During the stint, Mr Aziz cleaned toilets, wiped tables, and swept stairways in the office building. The work is “back-breaking”.
Once a week, this boss puts on the same uniformed shirt his cleaners wear in a show of unity. That’s not all. Today, as CEO of the cleaning firm, Mr Aziz takes it upon himself to get involved in discussions and initiatives that uplift workers of the industry. He is also active in advocacy matters such as grants to improve rest areas for cleaners. Talk about walking the talk! As a society, we do need more support from the government, union and businesses to continue to uplift vulnerable workers. The work continues…
*This story first appeared in The Straits Times on 15 May 2021.