Shorenstein Realty Services, Unico Properties, Nike, and Intel are stepping up to ensure that the essential workers who clean their properties—janitors—are able to support their families during this crisis and are helping to mitigate the health risks and financial impacts of COVID-19 by investing in responsible union janitorial contractors.
Several months after switching to Millennium Building Services for its night shift janitorial services, a recent tenant survey at Standard Insurance Tower and Plaza found that 60% of respondents feel that the night janitorial quality had gone down under the new contractor.
Standard Insurance came under nationwide scrutiny as low wage workers and their allies raised concerns about Standard’s contracting practices. In Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver and Seattle, janitors delivered letters to Standard insurance offices, calling on the company to do right by the people who clean their buildings. As one more example of the powerful #JusticeForJanitors campaign, the delegations all requested that The Standard reverse course and choose from one of the many Responsible Contractors that operate in the Portland market.
For over 20 years, Standard Insurance Center and Standard Plaza have invested in a responsible union janitorial company to keeps their offices clean. Janitors in the buildings had good jobs, earned fair wages and had access to affordable healthcare. In July, Standard made the decision to switch to Millennium Building Services, a non-union contractor marked “Red,” the lowest possible rating, on ResponsibleContractorGuide.net. Millennium workers have been speaking out about working conditions since 2017. Workers report extreme exploitation, unfair wages and unaffordable health insurance. Millennium is known for using a subcontractor model, where they may further subcontract janitorial services to dubious “independent contractors” — sometimes without the knowledge of the building managers.
Unico Faces Call to Create Good Jobs at Newly-purchased Montgomery Park Unico Properties grabbed headlines in April after purchasing the iconic Montgomery Park, Portland’s second largest office building. The property manager and owner drew attention last year after choosing a non-union contractor, Millennium Building Services, to clean their buildings The Lovejoy and Machineworks. Now janitors are speaking out again to make sure tenants and visitors to Montgomery Park know about the irresponsible practices Millennium, the janitorial contractor at Montgomery Park, has engaged in.