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Twitter’s New York janitors continue pressure campaign against abrupt layoffs

A bunch of unionized janitors who had been abruptly laid off shortly after Elon Musk took over the corporate rallied to battle for his or her jobs on Wednesday.

The cleaners gathered with their union SEIU 32BJ at Twitter’s 245-249 West seventeenth St. workplace within the meatpacking district to protest the social media firm’s terminations of its contract with their employers Flagship Companies.

“We were there to keep the office clean during the pandemic. And now we have no job. It is a crisis for me and my family. I am a single mother with four kids,” mentioned Merita Gashi, one of many cleaners laid off from the Chelsea workplace.

The 12 cleaners say they acquired a textual content on the night of Dec. 19 that the contract with their employer and their jobs had been being instantly terminated. 

The rally is a part of a pressure campaign that the union is waging in New York and on the social media firm’s different workplace in San Francisco the place one other 48 members of its constructing workers had been laid off forward of the brand new 12 months.

On the finish of the month, the employee’s medical insurance will lapse, which might trigger monetary turmoil for a lot of of them. Gashi mentioned that persistent medical points will go away her with 1000’s of {dollars} of debt shortly after they expire. Her coworker Laureta Gjoni mentioned that she’s going to want medical examine ups after lately donating a kidney.

Photograph: Max Parrott

The union says that abrupt termination of the employees’ contract might have run afoul of metropolis legislation, however provided that the constructing’s proprietor has employed different staff to scrub the constructing within the staff’ absence. 

Below the Metropolis Council’s Displaced Constructing Service Employees Safety Act, incoming third-party cleansing contractors should retain cleaners employed by an outgoing contractor for a transition interval to cease staff from being abruptly with out work. 

“If they get rid of a contracted worker and they bring in another contracted worker, then these workers are protected,” mentioned 32BJ Secretary Treasurer John Santos. “We’re gonna take every appropriate action that we can take to win this fight.”

For the time being the union mentioned that it seems that Twitter staff are now not utilizing the constructing, however says it’s nonetheless not clear whether or not it’s being cleaned or not.

Twitter didn’t reply to a request for remark. 

The rally was joined by a number of members of the janitorial workers in Twitter’s San Fran workplace who had been laid off earlier in December. In that case, the San Francisco Metropolis Legal professional David Chiu mentioned he was wanting into whether or not Twitter broke the same labor legislation.

Councilman Eric Bottcher who represents the world joined the protest. He mentioned that he had reached out to the Division of Shopper Employee Protections and discovered that beneath the legislation motion needs to be taken privately both by people or the union, however he will probably be maintaining a tally of the state of affairs. 

“This is not how we treat workers here in New York City. The fact that they threw these people out on the street days before Christmas with zero explanation after all the years of service they provided — that’s unconscionable,” he advised amNY.

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