Justice for janitors

In our society, no one should be without health insurance. Over 80 percent of janitors covered by Boston’s master contract receive no benefits, including health care. To many families, a trip to the hospital that might easily cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars could lead to years of debt. Last year, one out of two Americans who filed for bankruptcy did so because of medical expenses.

Because we live in Massachusetts, several public assistance programs exist, and help the families eligible for them. However, when this occurs taxpayers are directly padding the profits of contractors who employ the janitors by paying what should be part of their operating cost. Providing health care to their employees is the responsibility of companies like UNICCO, and Consolidated Service Corporation, the private contractor who cleans NU- not the public. The clients of these contractors: FleetBoston, State Street Bank, Boston Properties which owns the Prudential mall, New England Development which owns the Cambridge Side Galleria, MIT, and Northeastern University, all give health benefits to their employees. Yet many of the people who clean and maintain their properties receive none under the current master contract.

The over 10,000 janitors who clean the buildings we live and work in every day are members of our community. What they are demanding from their employers is no more than the respect to be treated as such.

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