Janitorial Contractor Under Fire
More than 30 city residents gathered at the Cambridge City Hall to express concern about the labor practices of Harvard's janitorial contractor, Unicco (the same contractor who is under fire at the University of Miami). According to reports in The Harvard Crimson, Unicco provides janitorial services to more than a dozen Cambridge businesses, including Harvard, and there is increasing concern regarding their treatment towards janitorial workers.
Mentioned in the article is one University of Miami workers report that when she went to supervisors to report an injury that happened on the job, she was threatened with dismissal if she followed through on the claim. Because she needed the work, the woman refused medial treatment for her injury.
Similar stories of poor labor practices have emerged about the company in recent months.
According to Dan Nicolai, director of the higher education division of SEIU Local 615, the union that organizes Harvard’s Unicco workers, "Unicco has a history of unfair and sometimes illegal practices that harm workers." In fact, three Unicco employees have died on the job over the past five years, adding to the claim that the company has little respect for workplace safety.
“Unicco has never engaged in any anti-union activities or done anything to intentionally harm, disrespect, or humiliate its employees,” the company said in a statement last month. The company also said it has never been found in violation of federal or state laws while operating at UMiami.
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