Oregon Investment Council Raise the Bar with New Responsible Contracting Policy

In a win-win-win for all Oregonians, the Oregon Investment Council (OIC) unanimously approved March 11 an updated Responsible Contractor Policy (RCP), that helps protect property services workers (janitors and security officers), commercial real estate tenants and participants in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) from irresponsible contracting practices in […]

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: How CRE Decisionmakers Are Standing Up to COVID-19 – or Not

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. By […]

Harrison Square: New Owners, New Problems?

After decades of being cleaned by a Responsible Union Contractor, the new owners of Harrison Square made the hasty decision to switch to Expresso Building Services. This is the same Expresso Building Services that is currently being sued for their alleged failure to obtain a license to provide janitorial services […]

Standard Insurance tenants report a drop in quality after switch to Millennium

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.   The higher wages and benefits offered by responsible contractors are an important way of ensuring greater retention of an experienced workforce, and Standard continued […]

Unico: Investing in our Community #notallheroeswearcapes

Unico Properties has joined the ranks of several other high-profile owners and management firms by choosing a Responsible Contractor to clean Montgomery Park. After Unico purchased Montgomery Park in April 2019, the company decided to cancel its contract with Millennium Building Services, a janitorial company where workers have been speaking up about low wages, lack of access to insurance, and lack of access to […]

Portland Janitors Ready to Win as they look to bargain their contract in 2020

A regional gathering on November 8 brought together over 70 Portland-area janitors to plan a campaign to win a ground-breaking contract with their employers in the coming months. The janitors are part of the 3,000 janitorial members of SEIU Local 49 in the Portland metro area. Although they are employed […]

Shorenstein Realty Services Chooses Responsible Janitorial Contractor

Shorenstein Realty Services (SRS) recently chose a verified Responsible Contractor, Able Services, to clean the company’s three office parks in the Portland suburban market: Kruse Woods Corporate Park (in Lake Oswego), Lincoln Center (Beaverton), and Nimbus Corporate Center (Tigard). Shorenstein, a building owner and property manager based on San Francisco […]

The Standard comes under nationwide scrutiny for driving down standards

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 […]

Lawsuit Filed to Enforce Oregon Janitor Protections

As of January 1st, 2018, all janitorial employers in the State of Oregon were required to obtain a license to provide janitorial services. Oregon janitors in SEIU 49, the janitors union, filed a lawsuit last week against Expresso Building Services for failure to obtain a license as a janitorial employer. […]

Concerns, Scorn for Standard Insurance at their Volunteer Expo

Standard Insurance talks about how they “act with compassion,” and have a “culture of caring.” They host events, such as their Volunteer Expo in downtown Portland, to attempt to demonstrate their commitment.  Janitors and their supporters questioned Standards’ commitment to Portland after they chose to eliminate 15 good union jobs […]

Promotora Movement Grows, Oregon Begins Training

A group of immigrant janitors in California are changing the janitorial industry from the ground up. On June 24th, over 100 janitors, mostly members of SEIU United Service Workers West, celebrated graduation from Promotora trainings. The trainings covered the prevention of sexual harassment and assault, as well as certifying janitors […]

Taking a Stand at Standard Insurance

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 […]

TMT Development, Stoel Rives, Face Lawsuit Over Janitorial Contractor

After years of trying to reach out in other ways, janitors are now speaking to TMT Development, and its president, Vanessa Sturgeon through a lawsuit. On the morning of June 14, as workers across the country held demonstrations to celebrate Justice for Janitors Day, SEIU Local 49 filed a lawsuit […]

National Maintenance Contractors Faces Another Lawsuit from Ex-Employees

National Maintenance Contractors, a janitorial firm with a long history with legal challenges, faces scrutiny this week after new claims are made. The NMC business model has come under fire in Oregon and Washington, especially after after a 2013 ruling by an administrative law judge—upheld in 2015 and 2017—found that […]

Opportunity Zone Breakfast Interrupted for Good Jobs

TMT breaking promise leads janitors to speak out during panel discussion Developers planned a breakfast to discuss the new “Opportunity Zones” created by Trump Tax cuts. They planned to hear from Vanessa Sturgeon, the informal spokesperson for Opportunity Zones in Portland and President of TMT Development. Lourdes Rodas, a janitor […]

Janitors to Unico and Montgomery Park: “Do the Right Thing!”

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 […]

Attention on TMT’s Misdeeds Growing

Weeks after Investors Alerted to Potential Risks Associated with TMT Development, News Breaks Highlighting Record of Irresponsibility  Park Avenue West Tower’s developer and major tenant, TMT Development, has been drawing attention in Portland, but not in the way it might want.  In late February, investor alerts highlighted risks associated with […]

Good Jobs Return to Commonwealth Building

Owner KBS and manager CBRE move to protect workers and investment by hiring responsible janitorial contractor Janitors celebrate this month as word was released that good union jobs would be returning to the Commonwealth Building in downtown Portland. Commonwealth had, for years, been cleaned by union janitors before a decision […]

Health and Safety Problems Land Millennium Building Services in Spotlight — Again

Millennium employee who fell multiple stories reveals hidden layers of subcontracting The story reads like a nightmare: Jeff Ready-Kraft, a window cleaner, fell eight stories from the top of the Morgan Building in downtown Portland. His hand was burned from attempting to grip the rope to stop himself. A witness […]

Major Investors Step Up to End Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

Trustees for major pension and investment funds expect protections for workers’ rights against sexual harassment and assault The #MeToo movement highlighted how harassment, discrimination, and assault pervade corporate cultures, from the executive level to front-line workers. A movement that began with courageous survivors sparking public moral outrage found major allies […]

Lenders, City Notified of TMT’s Questionable Practices; Community Takes Action

High-Profile Owner of Park Avenue West Tower accused of violations of city covenant Park Avenue West Tower’s completion marked a turning point for Portland commercial real estate. For years, the open foundation was seen as an eyesore and reminder of the great recession. In 2016, TMT proudly opened the mixed […]

RELEASE: Labor union and environmental group unite in call for change at Daimler Trucks North America 

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 24, 2018 Contact: Rae Dunnaville, 503-919-1960, raed@seiu49.org A janitors’ labor union and air quality activists have teamed up to advocate for Daimler to change its approach to community engagement. PORTLAND, OR — Portland-area janitors and their allies have criticized Daimler (OTCMKTS: DMLRY) for hiring a low-wage, non-union janitorial contractor to clean its […]

Daimler Trucks of North America Continues Indifferent Reaction to Serious Allegations Against Service Contractors

“U.S. Security is the most unprofessional company I have ever worked with!” -Security Official, Delaware Courts   Daimler Trucks of North America received public funding, to the tune of $20 million in state and local assistance, to construct their headquarters building, completed in 2016. As part of the agreement, Daimler […]

Victory for Janitors at Nike

Last September, Millennium Building Service janitors approached property managers for Nike to ask for them to speak up for janitors’ job quality at the Nike corporate headquarters.  The janitors were paid poverty wages, had no access to affordable health insurance, believed they were being denied protected sick time, and wanted […]

Unico Properties Eliminates Good Jobs at Machineworks and the Lovejoy

Shortly after union janitors left the building, complaints already had come up and tenants were concerned – that’s what janitors heard when they visited The Lovejoy and Machineworks in Northwest Portland in August.  Unico Properties manages both The Lovejoy and also Machineworks, a property owned by Blackrock (NYSE: BLK).  In […]

Unico delegation at Lovejoy Building

Janitors & Supporters Speak Out About Switch to Low Road Contractors at Machineworks and the Lovejoy Building

Tenants at The Lovejoy and Machine Works aren’t the only ones dissatisfied after Millennium Building Services took over janitorial service at the buildings—local janitors are speaking out too! The property manager, Unico Properties, is in the hot seat after they decided to bring in Millennium instead of one of the […]

Daimler Challenged for Contracting US Security Associates, Millennium Building Services

When Daimler decided in 2016 to keep its headquarters in Portland, they gained nearly $20 million in public subsidies to build a beautiful new building. Daimler committed to create good jobs – and for some workers, they did. But when it came to the mostly immigrant women who clean the […]

Justice for Janitors Day: Oregon Moves to Protect Vulnerable Workers

June 15 marks an important anniversary for janitors and security officers across the world. Each year, janitors across the country mark the occasion with major actions to continue to fight for good jobs. In Portland, members of the janitor’s union, SEIU 49, visited premier property managers and building owners to […]

REPORT: Cleaning Up Oregon’s Janitorial Industry

July 1, 2018, a new Oregon law will hold janitorial contractors and their customers responsible for fixing longstanding problems in the industry, including sexual harassment and assault, discrimination, and wage theft.

The Revolving Door at Daimler HQ

Cleaners Report Extremely High Turnover Rate The company that cleans Daimler Trucks North America’s headquarters – Millennium Building Services – has an employee turnover problem. Millennium janitors and day porters at Daimler come and go so fast that the turnover rate on site is nearly 100 percent per year, according […]

Allegations of Discrimination, Harassment Against Daimler’s Security Contractor

U.S. Security Associates Subject to More Than 50 Federal Lawsuits As the national discussion on discrimination and harassment in the workplace continues, US Security Associates (USSA) and related entities have been the subject of more than 50 federal lawsuits—including racial discrimination & sexual harassment–since 2000. This litigation fans out across […]

Security Officers Call Out US Security as Employer Plagued by Workplace Issues

In a recent poll by Stand For Security, guards from California to Texas to Florida weighed in on their experience working for US Security Associates. More than 65% of officers who completed the poll cited issues with US Security not respecting and listening to the employees who guard the sites […]

Let’s Talk about Good Jobs at Umpqua Bank Plaza

Umpqua Bank prides itself on being a community bank, responsive to the needs of the people it serves and open to hearing comments from customers and the public. But when their janitorial contractor at their headquarters, Umpqua Bank Plaza, decided to eliminate 7 good union jobs for janitors in their […]

US Security Associates Subject to 50+ Federal Lawsuits

As the spotlight on sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace grows brighter, US Security Associates (USSA) and related entities have been the subject of more than 50 federal lawsuits–including sexual harassment and gender discrimination–since 2000. In Portland, US Security Associates provides security to Daimler Trucks of North America, […]

Nike Janitors Confront Nike to Do the Right Thing

Janitors who clean the buildings at Nike World Headquarters went to property management last week demanding that Nike hold the contractors that they hire accountable for their actions. Janitors who work for Millennium Building Service (MBS) previously called on Nike to put a stop to the bad actions of MBS […]

Federal Charges Filed on Millennium at Nike World Headquarters

“My coworkers and I are committed to winning better jobs. Today, we filed a charge with the NLRB to defend our rights from threats and intimidation, because when our supervisor threatens our jobs or our hours, they’re threatening our families.” – Laura Sixtos, Millennium Janitor who cleans Nike buildings Millennium […]

How Daimler Trucks Stole Christmas

Daimler Trucks’ headquarters received a surprise visit this holiday season: Millennium Building Service janitors and supporters who stopped by to sing Christmas carols, modified with messages Daimler needs to hear. Instead of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” they sang, “We’ll Fight for Living Wages!” and other modified holiday classics. […]

In 2018, take the guesswork out of choosing your cleaning & security contractors

Just like the nation’s largest real estate owners and managers, you probably rely on outsourced security and cleaning services to keep your building—and business—running safely and smoothly. Unfortunately, we know not every service contractor can be trusted to deliver value for both their clients and workforce. In response, folks just […]

Nike Janitors Vindicated by State Agency Findings

After state enforcement action triggered by worker complaints, Millennium Building Service (MBS) appears to have had to correct some of its ways. Millennium janitors clean buildings throughout the Portland area, including buildings at Nike World Headquarters, Daimler Trucks of North America, some buildings at Portland State University, and downtown office […]

Spotlight on Daimler at Prosper Portland Board meeting

When Daimler Trucks of North America received up to $20 million in city and state subsidies to construct its new headquarters, the company committed to bringing good jobs to Portland as part of the deal. Because Daimler’s janitors are employed by subcontractor Millennium Building Services, and subcontractors aren’t covered by […]

Zeller Realty chose a company with a history of legal problems to clean Umpqua Bank Plaza

National Maintenance Contractors (NMC), the company Zeller Realty Group chose to clean Umpqua Bank Plaza, sells dubious franchises to janitors—reportedly often to immigrant workers with limited English proficiency—through contracts that charge thousands of dollars in fees for the right to service Zeller’s customer accounts. Recently, the Oregon Court of Appeals […]

Umpqua Bank Plaza Tenants Hear Scary Truth

On Halloween, janitors and community supporters visited Umpqua Bank Plaza to share frightening news with tenants about the janitorial company selected to clean the building. Umpqua Bank Plaza first caught the attention of community leaders this summer, when new building owner Zeller Realty replaced its union janitorial company with National […]

Portland janitors step up their call on building owners to practice responsible contracting

Millennium Building Service (MBS) janitors, who clean the offices of major corporations and institutions across Portland, filed complaints with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) on Wednesday, 9/20, alleging wage theft, underpayment of wages, and denial of legally-protected sick time. A group of janitors visited the BOLI offices […]

Hundreds demonstrate at Umpqua Bank Plaza to urge real estate company to hire responsible janitorial contractor

Members of SEIU Local 49 joined Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers and community activists in a demonstration outside Umpqua Bank Plaza on August 25. Hundreds participated in the rally, which was the latest in a series of efforts to urge the Chicago-based property owner, Zeller Realty Group, to reverse its consequential decision […]

Good Jobs Leaving Umpqua Bank Plaza

Recently, Chicago-based Zeller Realty Group bought the Umpqua Bank Plaza building and decided to switch janitorial contractors, bringing in one with a documented history of paying low wages and benefits. Now janitors in this building – like Maria Jimenez – are threatened by the possibility of losing their good jobs. […]

Millennium Building Services workers say: “Justice for Janitors!”

Portland-area janitors took action to stand up for good jobs, as part of a nationally coordinated day of action. Low-wage janitors stood with faith leaders, union members, other non-union workers, and community supporters to demand that Millennium Building Services (MBS) create good jobs for working Oregonians. On a day that […]

What’s going on with Millennium Building Services?

Millennium Building Services is a commercial cleaning and maintenance company based on Portland’s Swan Island. It serves some of the biggest companies in our area – Nike, Providence Health Services, and a number of downtown skyscrapers. It seems to be doing good business, having acquired other local janitorial companies in […]

Properties in the Spotlight: Daimler Headquarters

Daimler Trucks of North America unveiled its new headquarters in Portland in 2016. This sleek, state-of-the-art, LEED Platinum certified building was constructed with up to $20 million in incentives from city and state agencies. As part of that incentive package, Daimler promised to create good jobs for its employees. If […]