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 at Nike, but Nike has failed to act, even while a federal investigation continues over alleged illegal retaliation by MBS managers against workers speaking out. A growing group of janitors are ready to take action to hold MBS at Nike accountable.
A large group of janitors crowded into offices at Nike headquarters asking Nike to use a responsible contractor for their janitorial – and for many of their buildings, Nike already does. It may be rare that large groups of janitors directly face Nike, but it’s not the first time Nike faced criticism for their subcontracting. A January article from The Oregonian described a “…brewing battle [that] pits mom-and-pop drywallers, sheet metal firms, glass companies and commercial flooring installers against two of the largest companies in the state in Nike and Hoffman.”
Nike’s reaction to both janitors and their construction contractors point to a troubling “hands-off” approach to subcontracting. Janitors at Nike ask the company to be responsible about working conditions in their buildings.