Janitors Protest Vienna-Based Cleaning Contractor

by Lionel Casey

Janitors who’re part of the Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ protested K&S Management Services, a Vienna-primarily based non-union cleaning contractor, the day past (June 6) in Tysons.

With seventy-five,000 industrial office cleaners’ contracts set to run out this 12 months, Jaime Contreras, the VP for 32BJ SEIU, advised Tysons Reporter that the union will assist with bargaining.

“Today we’re centered on K&S, that is the biggest non-union cleaning enterprise in Virginia — also a corporation who’s regarded to violate people’ rights to arrange at the job,” Contreras said. “They have been observed responsible through the National Labor Board of firing an employee for truly trying to prepare on the task.”

That former K&S worker, Geofredo Castro, advised the group in Spanish and with an English translator that he decided to arrange his workers with 32BJ because “there were masses of injustices and they didn’t pay us a fair profit and we didn’t get almost any blessings.”

“I went to the K&S office to provide them the petition that I signed with my coworkers but afterward, they fired me unfairly,” the translator said. “With the help of the union, the closing month we received our case in opposition to K&S, and that they were obligated to pay me $1,500 for all the labor violations they committed in opposition to our workers.”

32BJ SEIU filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that K&S turned into carrying out unfair hard work practices, which protected Castro’s firing. K&S settled in May.

In an unrelated incident, a K&S employee filed a sexual harassment claim in January towards a manager at a worksite in D.C.

Julia Karant, a spokeswoman for the union, said that 32BJ SEIU hasn’t heard from K&S about the allegations and said that the organization is under research with the aid of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for sexual harassment.

K&S said in an emailed announcement to Tysons Reporter:

K&S respects its employees and their right to have interaction in concerted interest. However, as some distance as K&S is conscious, no petition has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board to initiate the method for voting wherein the employees are given the opportunity to take part in a loose and honest election to determine in the event that they want to be represented by the union. K&S has voluntarily agreed to take steps to ensure that the personal’ rights are blanketed.

K&S takes expenses of sexual harassment severely and strives to provide an environment that is secure and provides equal opportunities for all personnel. We attempt to prevent sexual harassment, and if claims of harassment are made, we are able to investigate and take appropriate movement. Beyond that, we can’t comment on precise costs filed by way of man or woman personnel.

Around 4:30 p.M., the protesters shouted in English and Spanish “K&S, disgrace on you” and “When we fight, we win” as they made their way from 1800 Tysons Blvd to 1751 Pinnacle Drive — one of the Tysons buildings that K&S cleans.

Del. Ken Plum (D-thirty sixth District), who stood out together with his orange shirt in a crowd of crimson, informed the protesters that he’s combating for “truthful work, truthful pay” in “the center of wealth in the United States.”

“It doesn’t get any wealthier than this,” Plum stated. “But the question is, whose wealth is it?

Dalia Palchik, a candidate for the Providence District seat on Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, also joined the rally.

The protest turned into the primary large protest in opposition to K&S by means of 32BJ SEIU and more are in the works, Contreras stated.

“I suppose the intention here is to carry K&S to the desk to satisfy with us and have an effective conversation about a way to boost standards for those employees and how to respect people at the job,” Contreras said, “but also to call attention to the rest of the industry within the place that our agreement is up and we’re going to be preventing for better wages.”

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