Excessive workload is a common problem throughout the janitorial industry. After negotiating 3 contracts we finally won new language that helps us fight against excessive workloads imposed on our members. Winning workload cases is never easy and we know it will always be a fight to achieve reasonable workloads, but this new language has given us a strong tool that has already helped us in several cases Thanks to members working together.in February we won new language in our union contracts that give us the right to demand a “workload review and walkthrough” with a union steward at our buildings. In April we began training 40 stewards on how to do “walkthroughs”, but the companies tried to stall. In response, workers and stewards organized, signed petitions, filed grievances and charges with the federal government. As a result of the building pressure, in the last two weeks we got our first “walkthroughs” and some real victories on workload:
HARVARD-5th St Towers: This was our first use of the new language, and after a walkthrough of 8 hours, followed by a negotiation between the company and the steward, the janitor won a reduction of a whole floor (equal to about an hour and a half each night).
·SBM-Medtronic: the company announced it would make a series of workload increases, but when the workers all requested “walk throughs”, the company decided to withdraw its proposed changes.
· ABLE-Washington Square: workers got the company to postpone changes for three months, and job descriptions in English, Spanish and French.
· ABM-La Salle: the company assigned 20 more hours per week to the building to help the janitors there, after a meeting with the steward and management.
· ABM-Normandale Lakes: In a meeting with workers, the company agreed to remove 45 minutes of work from a janitor (half the bathrooms on one of his floors).
· ABM-Best Buy: the workers got ABM to reduce the frequency of vacuuming and recycling to once every two weeks. They also won an amnesty (no workload disciplines for two months after the change), and detailed colored maps and written descriptions of their jobs.
· Marsden-Retek: Janitors are pushing the company to add 16 hours of help each week to the building