The NZ Herald has published a few good articles recently detailing the plight of Auckland's low-paid workers. Simon Collins talks to a cleaner who works from 5am to 10am cleaning Qantas House and then 6pm to 11pm cleaning a Newmarket office. His wages of $570 a week ($400 in the hand) also support his wife and four kids. Greg Ansley gives further examples of hard work for low pay: Sue Lafaele cleans from 11pm to 7am six nights a week at the Auckland Airport for $427. Part of the problem, of course, is the failure to unionise these industries. As the article points out, while 'In Australia unions represented about 30 to 40% of cleaners' in NZ the SFWU has an average union coverage amongst cleaners of only 12%. So it's good to see the Unite union now on the scene making much more of an effort. For a more stark but inspiring article, check out the New Statesman's New dawn for the workers, which looks at the desperate state of cleaners in places like London's Canary Wharf office area and compares the state of the class struggle to previous times such as the 1889 strike. The article is by Paul Mason, who has published an interesting sounding book entitled Working or Die Fighting: how the working class went global.