THREE Grenfell cleaners have been out of work for more than a year, after they suddenly lost their jobs in April 2014.
Virginia Doig, Patricia Smith and Diane Hockings have more than 84 years of experience between them.
The ladies, aged in their 50s and 60s were initially recruited by the state government – after many takeovers they ended up working for Joss Group – which holds the contract for school cleaning across the entire Riverina.
The three claim they began receiving poor marks for their cleaning at Henry Lawson High School that resulted in them being sacked.
These poor marks were sudden and unfair, Ms Doig said.
The three took the company to the Fair Work Commission and were given nine weeks of pay.
This was not enough.
“We're gutted,” Ms Doig said.
“You go to work and you do your job,” Ms Doig said, adding “you don’t expect to lose it”.
“The Fair Work Commission found we were clearly victimised and sacked unfairly.”
Ms Doig said Joss Group’s expectations increased dramatically in a short period.
“Nothing changed in our (quality of) cleaning.
“They just wanted everything done, everyday.
“100 per cent of everything was done.”
The ladies, who claim they can no longer afford to pay their mortgages, say their lives have been devastated by what they see as a systematic plan to sack them.
Ms Doig believes the group were targeted because they had been employed under a set of conditions that meant their hours could not be reduced.
“I think they thought he had been at the school too long, for too many hours.
“I think if we hadn’t got in touch with the union we would have lost our jobs sooner.
“You apply for jobs and get nowhere,” Ms Doig said.
“It’s difficult if you apply for a job out of town because we have all bought our homes – we thought we had a steady job for many years to come.
“I purchased a car believing I could pay it off.”
The three say living in a country town, with limited employment opportunities, has compounded their problems.
Ms Doig said she understands one part-time and two casual staff have filled their positions.
The Daily Advertiser contacted Joss Group for comment, but it was declined.
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