For the second time in a month, the Senate has defeated the passage of a bipartisan immigration reform bill. The bill fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed for its passage in a 46 to 53 defeat. Just a week earlier, senators successfully voted to resume debate on the bill after urging from President George W. Bush. Originally, the bill was pulled from the Senate floor on June 7 after a procedural vote didn’t garner enough support.

Both Republican and Democrat Senators believe that Congress will not revisit immigration reform until after the 2008 presidential election.

The proposed bill would have allowed the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. to be eligible for citizenship under a new “Z Visa.” The visa would allow illegal immigrants to live in the country indefinitely after passing a background check and paying a fine. The bill also included a guest-worker program, stricter requirements for employers to verify employees and subcontractors, harsher penalties for hiring illegal workers and tighter border control.

Critics of the bill said that its priorities were in the wrong place — that borders needed to be secured before allowing citizenship to those already in this country illegally.

Newt Gingrich To Speak At ISSA/INTERCLEAN

ISSA has announced Newt Gingrich as the keynote speaker to address attendees at ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2007 on the second day of the convention, Thursday, October 25 at 8:15 a.m.

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Gingrich will discuss “Living in the Age of Transformation” and talk about the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the Information Age and worldwide marketplace. He promises to make every audience member literally feel “well-connected” by demonstrating how lessons learned in one discipline can apply to another and how all fields of study share a common connection to information technology.

Following his career in public service, Gingrich became chairman of the Gingrich Group, a communications and consulting firm that specializes in transformational change. He is also an author of both fiction and non-fictional books (see a review of “Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract With America”). >


  • The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will commit $1 million to green building research. These funds will be targeted at increasing research in areas such as energy and water security; global climate change prevention; indoor environmental quality; and passive survivability in the face of natural and man-made disasters.

    “Research will help us advance the practice of building science,” says USGBC Board Member Vivian Loftness, of Carnegie Mellon University, in a news release. “It should also track and validate as quickly as possible the profound connection between green buildings and human health and productivity.”
  • Two national cleaning companies recently were recognized with prestigious communication awards. Newton, Mass.-based UNICCO Service Company’s GreenClean® green facilities initiative was the recipient of the 2007 PR News Corporate Social Responsibility Award for Environmental Communications. This initiative also received an honorable mention in the Cause-Branding Campaign Category.

    Meanwhile, Atlanta-based OneSource’s GreenSweep cleaning program received top honors in several local and international competitions for marketing communications including a Gold Quill Award from the International Association of Business Communicators; an Atlanta Marketer of the Year award from the Atlanta chapter of the American Marketing Associations; and an Image Award for the Best Company Marketing Piece from the Building Service Contractors Association International.
  • Senators blocked passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, despite the bill having passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year. The bill would have required employers to recognize a union if the majority of workers signed an authorization card. Under the current law, workers vote for union activity through secret ballots. Failure to pass the bill protects workers from being intimidated or coerced into joining a union.

    “Workers…must have the freedom to choose to form a union without interference or intimidation,” says Service Employees International Union Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger in a news release.
Mergers & Other Moves
  • Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Winchester, Va. has acquired United Metal Receptacle Corp., Pottsville, Pa. Together the two companies will offer more substantial product lines, best-of-breed business practices and a strong partnership capitalizing on the synergies of both companies.
  • The ISS Group, Copenhagen, Denmark, has acquired Sanitors Inc., San Antonio, Texas, expanding its worldwide operations to 50 countries. Sanitors will maintain its headquarters in San Antonio and all eight U.S. divisions, but be renamed ISS Facilities Services Inc. Founder Darrell Glover will remain on as CEO.
  • Loveland, Ohio-based xpedx announced it will begin distributing jan/san supplies and equipment in Canada starting in 2008.
  • The Home Depot’s HD Supply Division has been sold to a group of private equity firms comprised of Bain Capital, the Carlyle Group and Clayton Dubilier & Rice. HD Supply will be renamed HD Supply Facilities Maintenance and remain a player in the jan/san distribution market.
  • Kaivac Inc., Hamilton, Ohio, and Coverall Cleaning Concepts, Boca Raton, Fla., have announced a joint development agreement designed to improve the effectiveness of healthcare facility cleaning by aggregating technology, procedures and measurement strategies that maximize soil and microbe removal. Under the agreement, the companies will work together to develop tools and define best practices for deep-cleaning areas such as exam rooms, operating rooms and gurneys that are specific to healthcare environments.