Last semester, USLAC (United Student-Labor Action Coalition) made tremendous progress in helping Wesleyan’s custodial workers be contracted under new management—Sun Services LLC. Thanks to immense support from the Wesleyan community, USLAC collected over 700 signatures to make this change possible. But Wesleyan’s custodians need your help again. When they signed their contracts back in May, Sun management assured them that it would retain all 60 of the workers. Now, it is planning to lay off 10 workers by September 1. USLAC needs your signatures (ASAP, as early as next week), for the sake of these 10 workers and to stand in solidarity with Wesleyan’s custodians:
Many workers experience extreme physical injury due to the strenuous nature of their current jobs. The plan for 10 additional layoffs would further endanger these workers’ health and livelihoods, placing unreasonable burdens on workers who already suffer as a result of their demanding workloads. Additionally, the anticipated layoffs would make it more difficult for the remaining workers to do their jobs effectively, threatening Wesleyan’s high standard of cleanliness.
In May, Wesleyan’s janitorial workers and representatives from their union were assured by Sun Services management that Sun would re-hire all 60 workers from the seniority list. We expect that Wesleyan hold Sun Services to their promise. Wesleyan’s janitors are members of our community; some have dedicated decades of their lives to taking care of our campus. Many of these workers have little work experience outside of Wesleyan; given this, their chances of finding jobs apart from Wesleyan are low. Sun’s decision to fire 10 workers blatantly disregards their dedicated service to our university, and shows a lack of understanding of the nature of these taxing jobs. We demand that Wesleyan University commit to maintaining the current staffing levels and preserving these workers’ jobs.
Perennial activist Tali Robbins ’15 states how time intensive this petition is:
The workers and their union rep. are trying to get a meeting early next week with Joyce Topshe, the administrator at Physical Plant in charge of relations with subcontractors. A couple students are going to go to that meeting, and we’d like for them to have a petition (and at least a couple hundred signatures) to take with them.