Portuguese Workers & Cleaners’ Action 1975

NEW INTERVIEW — Marcie Ponte and Sidney Pratt interviewed by Franca Iacovetta

This interview focuses on Cleaners’ Action, an advocacy group founded in 1975 to support Portuguese cleaners. Its origins are linked to a “contracting-out crisis” precipitated by the actions of the Ontario government at its Queen’s Park building-complex. Forced to accept low wages to keep their jobs, the women also turned for support to community workers with St Christopher (settlement) House. Cleaners’ Action’s assisted night cleaners with their individual problems and worked with them to address workplace challenges.

Still from video of Sidney Pratt

“We weren’t rioting, we weren’t breaking windows, we weren’t – what we were trying to do was to capture what people had to say and to use that to help them to reflect.”

Sidney Pratt

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