Justice for Janitors

Justice for Janitors

January 30, 2015 13:08 ET

ISS, New Multi-Million Dollar Cleaning Contractor for Molson's Plant, Refuses to Retain Employees

Cleaners to stage info-pickets Monday after being thrown out of work

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 30, 2015) - Eduarda Bernardo has worked as a contract cleaner at the Molson's plant at 33 Carlingview Drive in Toronto for the last five years. As a member of the Service Employees International Union Local 2, over that time she has seen steady improvements in working conditions like winning health insurance. Now all could be lost.

Yesterday Bernardo received a notice from ISS Facility Services Inc., the giant Danish multi-service company taking over the cleaning contract, stating that she would not be retained. Today is her last day at the job.

Two other employees have letters like Bernardo's. This is a departure from the common practice in the industry, where janitors are normally retained by incoming cleaning contractors. When GDI Services took over the contract from Compass Facility Services four years ago, workers kept their jobs, their years of services were respected and the collective bargaining agreement was recognized. ISS has refused to follow the standard practice.

While the two most senior employees are being retained (13 and 20 years of service), there is serious concern about their job security moving forward.

"I've worked hard for many years to keep this building clean," says Bernardo. "Now a foreign company comes in and tells me and my co-workers that we are being replaced."

ISS Facility Services' website says it operates in over 50 countries and employs over half a million people. According to their 2013 Group Annual Report, the company's revenue was over $78 DKKm that year (over $CDN 15 billion using today's exchange rate).

"Companies like ISS Facility Services make millions but they don't want workers like me to have a living wage or benefits," says Bernardo. "This isn't right; these companies should respect workers and not treat us like disposable rags."

The first info-pickets are expected to go up Monday morning.

Contact Information

  • Ritch Whyman