Janitorial Contractors and Economists Comment on Minimum Wage
Kevin Eigelbach, writer for The Cincinnati Post, recently wrote an article focusing on the Justice for Janitors movement, specifically the low wages and benefits for custodial workers. In response to that article, Eigelbach received a letter from one-time janitorial contractor, Harold Vick.
Vick commented in his letter that the movement to raise wages wont help the janitorial contractor. He goes on to say that when he was in the business, it was difficult to compete with larger companies who would constantly underbid smaller mom-and-pop contractors to win the contract. If these large businesses were now required by the movement to raise wages, they would see themselves loosing business to the smaller contractor that doesn't have an office, health plans, paid vacations or other expenses. Either way, someone would lose.
To confirm the validity of Vick’s statement, Eigelbach contacted the chair of the Department of Economics and Finance at Northern Kentucky University, Gary Clayton for comment. Following his review, Clayton commented that in order for the Justice for Janitors movement to be successful, every janitorial service in the region - including the mom-and-pops - would have to agree on the just wage for janitors.
Because the janitorial industry is an easy business to get into and the product is the same no matter who does it, cleaning companies have to compete on price, which keeps prices low.
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