After cuts, T janitors file labor complaint

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After weeks of vocal appeals to Gov. Charlie Baker, the union representing laid-off MBTA janitors has seized on a new target and venue.

32BJ SEIU, the union, announced Thursday evening it has filed unfair labor practice charges against the janitors’ two employers S.J. Services and ABM with the National Labor Relations Board.

The T, which has long outsourced janitorial work, recently signed contract extensions, which kicked in Sept. 1, doing away with staffing requirements for the vendors tasked with cleaning subway stations.

The cash-strapped MBTA, which has a roughly $2 billion budget and a roughly $110 million structural deficit, claims the new contract will save about $8 million over the next two years.

The union also quantified the effects of the new contract on T janitorial workers, Thursday, reporting that more than 70 full-time positions were eliminated Thursday, “many more” will lose their health care and see their hours cut, and “dozens have been asked, sometimes with just 48 hours, to decide whether to accept a part-time job with an increase workload or lose their job.”

According to the union, the complaint alleges the contractors refused to bargain over the layoffs and other cuts.

— Written by Andy Metzger

Copyright State House News Service