SEIU Local 2

SEIU Local 2

February 18, 2011 13:12 ET

SEIU Local 2: Scarborough Town Centre Cleaners' Jobs Safe as Cleaning Contractor Abandons Contract

Marquise Facilities Group walks away from lucrative contract after intense community pressure to respect workers' rights

- Action Planned for Saturday @ Noon Cancelled -

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 18, 2011) - Thanks to an intense campaign by community and union members, Marquise Facilities Group is walking away from the cleaning contract at the Scarborough Town Centre, and the cleaners, who are members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2, are keeping their jobs.

Last week, Marquise made it clear they had no intention of maintaining wages and standards for cleaners working at the mall, and might not have retained the staff at all.

"It's so great that the community came together to protect decent jobs in Scarborough," said Daniel Barr, who has worked at the mall for over 21 years. "I don't know what my family would have done if Marquise had come in and we had lost our jobs. We're all very grateful for the support we received." Barr and his spouse have four school-aged children at home.

Marquise was to take over the contract at the Scarborough Town Centre on March 1st from the Hurley Group. After their intentions to not recognize the workers at the mall became clear, an intense public campaign was launched. On February 17th, Marquise abandoned the contract. One can only assume that their refusal to recognize the workers' union at the mall coupled with the public pressure led them to walk away.

"It just goes to show what workers in our city can accomplish when we come together," said Barr. "It's a great victory for workers in Scarborough. We're not going to let companies that want to worsen conditions for working families come into our communities."

The Scarborough Town Centre is owned by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), a major Canadian union pension fund, and managed by Oxford Properties Group, a real estate firm also owned by OMERS.

SEIU, concerned citizens, cleaners from around the city who are part of the Justice for Janitors campaign, CUPE and other union members who are also members of OMERS, pressured the Scarborough Town Centre to ensure Marquise respected the rights of workers at the mall.

OMERS members include municipal workers, Children's Aid Society workers, firefighters, emergency services staff, police, non-teaching school board staff, transit workers and Hydro workers.

*** Action planned for Saturday @ noon cancelled ***

The action planned by SEIU Local 2 at the Scarborough Town Centre on Saturday February 19th at noon has been cancelled. The organizers will be gathering at the Scarborough YMCA to announce the victory to supporters who may still attend.

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The Service Employees International Union is the largest and fastest growing union in North America, with 100,000 workers in Canada and two million workers across Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico.

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