Janitorial Cost Overruns Cited At O'Hare Airport
The 2012 contract to clean Chicago's O'Hare International Airport was for $99.4 million, but has since grown by nearly $8 million, according to an article on the CBS Chicago website.
“United Maintenance came in and underbid the contract right off the start to get the work. … And then they turned back on the city and said, ‘Okay, now we got the work — give us more money,’” says Tom Balanoff, president of SEIU Local 1, the labor union that once represented O’Hare’s janitors.
A spokesperson for United Maintenance claims that the cost increases are due to the costs of materials and local prevailing wage.
But, United Maintenance was also cited in a 2015 federal lawsuit filed by some O’Hare janitors, which accused the firm of wage theft. The company settled the lawsuit last fall for $850,000 but admitted no wrongdoing.
The city said, despite the cost increases, the contract is still a good deal.
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