New York, NY – On Friday, July 1, Brooklyn Law School announced its reversal of a controversial decision to cancel its contract with a union overnight cleaning company in favor of contractor Advantage Cleaners, which threatened to fight union recognition and cut workers’ union benefits and wages. The announcement came after workers, elected officials, other 32BJ SEIU members and Brooklyn Law School students led a public pressure campaign on the school.
Throughout this week, the impacted Brooklyn Law School overnight cleaners leafleted daily outside the Law School. This mobilization connected them with Law School students, who organized an online petition to educate the Law School community about the union-busting.
Via a statement to the local press today, Brooklyn Law School announced its intention to explore alternative arrangements for its cleaning services with vendors that have unionized workforces. Additionally, the Law School committed to ensuring that all of the current employees would be offered positions with any future vendor and that these offers of employment would feature the same pay and benefits the cleaners previously enjoyed.
Denis Johnston, 32BJ Executive Vice President and Director of the Commercial Division, said: “This is proof that when workers unite and fight in this city, they win! We will continue to stay vigilant to ensure the essential overnight cleaners at Brooklyn Law School retain their union benefits and wages!”
Luis Pacheco, Brooklyn Law School Night Crew Foreman, said: “When we heard our benefits and wages would be cut, my colleagues and I came together. I am so proud of my colleagues for all the time and energy we put into raising awareness about this while continuing to work our daily overnight shifts! We depend on our healthcare and wages to get by. We are willing to fight for them.”
Efigenia Moreno, Brooklyn Law School Night Cleaner, said: “We depend on our healthcare and wages. The thought of cutting them was not acceptable to us because it’s already so hard to survive in this city. I am so happy our hard fight was successful!”
With more than 175,000 members in 12 states, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.