News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reston's Vibrant Economy, Part 25: Office Cleaners of the World, Unite!

A company that provides cleaning services to Reston office buildings is being investigated for unfair labor practices.

Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ has accused Golden Gate Services Inc. of unfair labor practices at the Fairfax County Government office complex.

Local 32BJ filed a complaint Sept. 11 with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of 40 workers, claiming the Fairfax-based cleaning contractor has been threatening employees with discharge and retaliation for their lawful union activities.

New York-based Local 32BJ will be setting up times for the employees working at 12011 and 12055 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax and 12011 Sunset Hill Road in Reston to give affidavits.
The article doesn't say it, but that address is actually Northrup Grumman's Reston office. To be fair, they don't hire these workers, Golden Gate does.
The company, which maintains commercial office buildings in Fairfax, Herndon, McLean, Vienna and Reston, pays some cleaners $7 per hour.

Last year, in a move that primarily affects custodial, maintenance and administrative workers, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a living wage of $12.75 an hour for regular county employees. It also created a policy to encourage county vendors to adopt a similar living wage for their employees.
You don't hear much about labor activities in Virginia, given that it's a "right to work" state, meaning that pretty much the only thing unions are allowed to do is put up fliers in the breakroom. What are these people allegedly being threatened with their jobs for -- costly and time-consuming paper cuts?

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