Security and Janitorial Workers Call on Corporations to Protect Workers and Our Communities
National emergencies require us to move beyond business as usual and come together as a nation. Our government must act with urgency. And leaders of the largest, most powerful corporations must look past their bottom lines to do what’s right for all working people.
On behalf of more than 200,000 contracted janitors and security officers in 35 major cities across the country, the people who clean and protect commercial office buildings, health care facilities, government offices, transportation systems, convention centers, tech and biotech campuses, higher education campuses and other critical infrastructure who are on the front lines of this crisis, we demand immediate action by the country’s large property owners to secure the health, safety, and long-term economic well-being of America’s property service workers, regardless of where they work, their race, their immigration status, or current healthcare coverage.
- Fully-funded, accessible healthcare for every worker, including paid leave and 100%-paid testing and treatment for COVID-19. Corporations must ensure full healthcare coverage is provided to direct and subcontracted employees. Any uninsured person not covered by their employer should automatically be enrolled in Medicaid. Every worker must be covered by permanent, comprehensive paid leave policies, providing immediate access to 12 weeks’ leave at full pay for workers who are sick, mandated to stay home, or caring for loved ones.
- Job, wage, and economic security for every worker. Establish industry funds to fully reimburse wages lost by workers whose hours or jobs have been cut or scaled back. These funds must cover direct and subcontracted employees, and provide regular payments. Industries must provide easily accessed emergency child care funds, debt-relief, and housing assistance.
- Immediate investment in the health and safety of every worker. Property owners and contractors should take aggressive, immediate measures to ensure clean, safe, sanitary work environments and protection from infection during this health crisis, with continuing access to the latest best practices, including personal protective equipment, information and training.
- Working families at the center of every emergency relief package. Elected leaders of every party and at every level of government must act to put the health, safety, and financial well-being of workers first. Any industry relief or bailout must prioritize healthcare and financial support for workers over executive pay, shareholders, or profits. Relief efforts must directly address the disproportionate impact of economic and health crises on Black, brown, Asian Pacific Islander, and immigrant workers.
To more fully address the needs of workers in the property services industry, we are calling on you specifically to address:
- Ensure that employees can exercise their right to refuse any life-threatening assignment, acknowledging the need for options for all vulnerable groups and workers 65 years and older.
- Provide full and adequate information regarding health and safety/exposure issues at a worksite before asking workers to clean/guard/enter potentially infected areas.
- Support the rights of all service workers to freely decide to form a union of their choice, including contracted service workers, so they can have the power and the forum to navigate critical situations such as this one. Employer – Union relationships are an important vehicle to ensure:
- Janitors have adequate time and supplies, including gloves, hand sanitizer, and the time to sanitize surfaces and wash hands throughout the day to stop the spread of disease and keep themselves, client employees and the public safe.
- Janitors receive information and training on new stronger cleaning agents and materials as described by EPA and OSHA. Materials should be translated into all appropriate languages for the workforces in question.
- Security officers receive additional training and updated written materials on any role changes in revised emergency plans including, screening client employees or members of the public, coordination with public safety and medical personnel and reporting requirements.
- Security officers receive proper additional training and personal protective equipment to keep themselves, client employees and the general public safe
- Staffing levels are adequate to ensure facilities are sanitized in line with OSHA and CDC guidance.
Protecting all workers is the patriotic and moral requirement of this moment, and always.
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