The Grinch Who Stole Christmas:
Arke Management Dumps Union Janitors in the Pearl District’s Brewery Blocks Just In Time for the Holidays
Holiday shoppers are bustling through Portland’s Pearl District, buying gifts, eating and drinking—but not everyone is bringing the cheer.
Just before the holidays, property management company Arke Management dumped the union janitors who used to clean M Financial Plaza and the Whole Foods Building, two of the landmark Brewery Block buildings adjacent to Burnside Street and Powell’s City of Books.
“I’ve been working as a union janitor for eight years, and I’m 63 years old. I am so close to retirement, and I wouldn’t want to be left without medical insurance, my pension, and other benefits we are receiving here.”
—Nadia Reprintseva, union janitor at the Brewery Blocks
Arke Management reportedly wanted to switch to a different janitorial company. Nothing wrong with that. More than a dozen janitorial companies in the Portland area (listed in SEIU’s Responsible Contractors Guide) have a union contract with their workers, guaranteeing good health insurance, paid vacation time, retirement contributions, and a voice on the job.
Instead, Arke Management chose Millennium Building Services, a non-union firm that has a record of violating workers’ rights and a high rate of employee turnover.
One displaced janitor, Nadia Reprintseva, said, “I’ve been working as a union janitor for eight years, and I’m 63 years old. I am so close to retirement, and I wouldn’t want to be left without medical insurance, my pension, and other benefits we are receiving here. I would like to work these last few years and be grateful for this opportunity. Please, allow me to remain here at this job and to keep my union membership.”
Do Arke Management and Brewery Blocks businesses really want to save a few dollars on the backs of the janitors who keep their buildings clean?
It’s not too late for Arke Management to change its mind, do the right thing, and choose a union janitorial company to clean Brewery Blocks 1 and 4, the Whole Foods Building and M Financial Plaza.
Here’s how YOU can help:
Contact Arke Management’s Katie Smith at 503-382-8344 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask, “Please use a union janitorial company at all of the Brewery Blocks properties you manage.”