Copenhagen’s historic staffed public toilets have been saved from the pan thanks to a campaign by their attendants, lovingly dubbed ‘tissekoner’, or ‘pisswives’.
The Teknik- og Miljøudvalget city planning council has decided to keep the six spotless loos after a ‘Save the pisswives’ petition gathered 7,756 signatures.
Scrapping the lavs and replacing them with automated booths would have saved DKK 20 million (EUR 2.7 million) per year. But Copenhageners and tourists would have lost the city’s cleanliest loos, and the tissekoners would have lost their jobs.
The FOA union, which represents the attendants, also pushed the council the keep the toilets, arguing that people caught short would not wait in line for single-use automatic conveniences.
“It has to do with safety, and also with making sure that people don’t urinate on the street. If there were automatic toilets, without pisswives, people wouldn’t stand in the queue. They would just go around the corner instead,” FOA’s labour representative Marianne Luckow told the Copenhagen Post.
Council chairman Bent Lohmann added, “If Copenhagen wants to continue to have the nightlife it has today, then there’s also the need for staffing [toilets]. Finally, it also has consequences for employment – we need jobs for unskilled workers,” he said.