During COVID-19 Pandemic, Federal Contractor Cuts Back Cleaning Staff at Postal Square Building

Julie Karant: 646-584-9001; jkarant@seiu32bj.org

During COVID-19 Pandemic, Federal Contractor Cuts Back Cleaning Staff at Postal Square Building

Washington, D.C. –Despite harrowing circumstances that warrant extra cleaning to keep offices safe for employees, a federal cleaning contractor, Electronic Metrology Laboratory, LLC (EML) is now using fewer office cleaners than its predecessor at the Postal Square Building. EML, which took over the contract last week, also refused to hire the predecessor’s longtime employees who had as much as 30 years of experience.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Postal Museum are among tenants who continue to pay rent that subsidizes EML, which hired just 19 of the 24 cleaners employed by the previous contractor.

“Cleaning is a crucial public health necessity to prevent the spread of COVID-19, yet EML is cutting back, leaving cleaners out of work and tenants at greater risk,” said 32BJ SEIU Vice President, Jaime Contreras. “EML should be maximizing our safety not their profits. They have a moral obligation to keep tenants as safe as possible and prevent workers and their families from facing starvation. Cleaners, who risk their own health and lives to keep the rest of us safe, need an income and health care during this crisis.”

With more than 175,000 members in 11 states, including over 20,000 in the D.C. area and Baltimore, MD, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

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