Documented reports that New York City’s Displaced Building Service Workers Protection Act was in 2016 expanded to cover third-party workers like Calderon.
“When one building service contractor takes over another contractor’s work in a building, the service workers already employed at the building must be rehired by the new contractor and can’t be terminated without cause,” the report said. “If building owners violate the act, workers can directly sue the building owners, where they can be awarded reinstatement, back pay, and damages.” Whether this is the case with Twitter is what SEIU 32BJ wants to know.
“Twitter’s decision to cancel the cleaning contract for its NYC office has upended the lives of these dedicated cleaners, many of whom have worked at this location since Twitter moved in seven years ago,” Denis Johnston, SEIU 32BJ executive vice president, said in a statement reported by Documented. “NYC’s essential cleaners have done too much for this city to be treated like this.”
While engineers and others on the tech side have their jobs to do—like, oh, banning presidents who use their accounts to help incite insurrections—so do cleaning crews in maintaining the cleanliness and overall appearance of workplaces. They’re indeed essential, and too often overlooked. Their importance was more than highlighted in San Francisco, where the office basically began to stink to high heaven following the canning of janitorial services, The New York Times reported last month.
That report also noted that workers still employed by Twitter were beginning to bring in their own toilet paper, again because there was no janitorial services. No one really thinks about their importance until they’re gone.
In San Francisco, city officials also want to know “whether Twitter broke the law with the sudden layoffs due to laws mandating employers retain workers for at least 90 days during a transition between contractors,” The Guardian reported last week. Musk is supposed to be head of some of the top companies in the world but seems to spend tons of his time as a reply guy to the absolute worst of Twitter. Maybe so much time that severance owed to workers laid off on the tech side has been forgotten, Daily Kos’ Laura Clawson noted earlier this month.
Janitorial workers get no severance at all, not even an explanation as to how they could be out of a job when a billionaire is at the helm.
“I was so happy working for Twitter,” another worker fired from the New York office told The Guardian. “I was able to pay my bills, get babysitters for my kids. Now, it’s a nightmare for me. I don’t know how I’m going to do it or know what’s going to happen. There was no explanation. We worked Monday, the 19th, and that night we got the message. It was shocking right before Christmas. We didn’t have a good holiday. No merry Christmas, no happy new year, we were thinking about our jobs and if we were going back.”
As Musk ousted workers from both tech and janitorial services, he welcomed back to Twitter numerous reprehensible figures in addition to the insurrectionist former president. Reinstated by Musk in November was former boxer Andrew Tate, who’d been banned since 2017 for horrific, misogynist tweets. Since getting reinstated by Musk, Tate has been arrested “on charges of rape, human trafficking and running an organized crime ring,” NPR reported.
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