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 building and the security officers who protect it, Daimler has ignored workers’ and community concerns.
Now, the janitors who work for Daimler’s cleaning contractor, Millennium Building Services, are speaking out. Millennium janitors have reported poverty wages, illegal interrogation, and coercion. They’ve won back pay after filing claims of wage theft and lack of access to earned sick time. A list of licensed contractors provided by the Bureau of Labor and Industries to SEIU on June 4, 2018, did not include Millennium Building Services.
US Security Associates (USSA), the security contractor hired to protect Daimler’s headquarters, also has a list of legal issues, including facing charges of wage theft and lawsuits alleging violations of wage and hour protections in states across the country.
In California alone, the company has settled wage and hour lawsuits in amounts totaling $21 million. Additionally, USSA was forced to pay over $28,000 in back wages since 2006 for violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and was forced to settle at least 18 other federal wage and hour lawsuits since 2004.
In a recent Stand for Security poll, guards from Oregon, Washington, California and more, weighed in on their experience working for US Security Associates.
More than 60% of officers who completed the poll reported issues with their paychecks by USSA; 65% of officers surveyed cited issues with USSA not respecting and listening to the employees; and 79% of security officers polled said they would not recommend this company to others.
This week, hundreds acted together to call on Daimler to do better. Joining a nationwide online petition about the problems with US Security in the Portland area, community supporters sent emails and wrote messages to stop the race to the bottom. Click here to sign the petition to Daimler calling on them to choose a responsible security contractor.
|“I used to work for US Security Associates. I felt they did not respect the security officers they employ or provide us with the training and tools needed to do our jobs. I ended up leaving for a more professional company.”
-Officer Debbie Melton-Joyner