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.
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 in Multnomah County Circuit Court seeking a declaratory judgment showing TMT Development to be in violation of a binding agreement they signed. SEIU Local 49 alleges that TMT Development committed to contracting for janitorial services with a company whose employees are represented by a union.
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 NMC misclassified employees as franchisees.
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.
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.