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Sectoral social dialogue - Industrial cleaning

Social partners

Employees' organisations Employers' organisations
UNI Europa European Federation of Cleaning Industries

Social dialogue in this sector covers:

  • services provided by specialised contractors
  • building maintenance and associated cleaning
  • cleaning of trains, buses and planes
  • waste management services
  • disinfecting and exterminating activities.

In the EU, the industrial cleaning sector employs around 3.75 million people (almost 2% of the EU workforce). The continuous shift towards a service-based economy led to a net turnover increase of 13.9% (2006-08). On average, the annual employment growth over the last 18 years is at 9.9%.

Major challenges for this sector are the economic crisis and its indirect impact on working conditions, the level of market penetration in certain Eastern European countries, the visibility of the sector, union and employer representation in eastern Europe, the reform of the EU public procurement directives, and the impact of undeclared work.

Focus areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • health and safety issues
  • socially responsible public procurement
  • increased participation of employees and employers in sectoral social dialogue
  • working conditions
  • standard setting
  • impact of the economic crisis.

Activities and meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee.


  • Joint opinion of the social partners in the cleaning industry, contract catering and private security sectors on Modernisation of EU Public Procurement Policy ( May 2012)
  • Programme for prevention of MSDs in the cleaning sector, FARE (F) (2010-2014)
  • Joint campaign on daytime cleaning by the Belgian social partners (2011-2012)
  • Survey on the cleaning industry in Europe, Edition 2010 (Data 2008), EFCI (February 2011)

See also "European sectoral social dialogue – recent developments" (2010 brochure).


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