Batay Ouvriye Banner

Batay Ouvriye Delivers U. Miami Workers Demands to President Shalala

March 15, 2006

At Batay Ouvriye, we received the Univ. of Miami Janitors demands, supported by Concerned Faculty, Students, Parents, Community Members, Leaders & S.T.A.N.D. These are the sort of demands we, at Batay Ouvriye, know very well and we also know how cruel such situations are. That’s why we reinforce our intervention more yet, to demand that this situation be resolved in the interest of the workers. Here are the workers’ demands:

1. Living Wage

2. Health insurance, far beyond the « Employee Enrichment Program»

3. Respect workers’ right to organize and legal representation.

4. Have UNICCO renounce their anti-union actions, specifically that they:

- Interrogated employees about their union sympathies

- Spied on workers engaged in union activity

- Threatened employees with reprisals, including denial of overtime and reduction of work hours because they supported the union and engaged in union activity

- Accused employees of being disloyal for supporting the union and engaging in union activity

- Prohibited workers from talking about the union when at work

- Promised better treatment to employees who do not support the union

- Required workers to sign documents disavowing their support or the union


President Shalala claims neutrality and that she is not responsible for the UNICCO’S behavior. However, concerned faculty, students, parents, community members, leaders & S.T.A.N.D. have a different opinion. Indeed:

* It is not "neutral" for President Shalala to support UNICCO's call for an NLRB election rather than to respect the desire of the UNICCO workers for card-check recognition.

* It is not "neutral" to permit UNICCO officials to use University property to lobby their workers against unionization and at the same time to prohibit SEIU organizers from reasonable access to campus to tell their side of the story.

* It is not "neutral" for the Vice President for Human Resources to call public safety in an effort to halt the distribution of food, water, baby formula, and other supplies to UNICCO workers impacted by Hurricane Wilma…

* It is not "neutral" to attempt to limit the UNICCO workers' picketing to a reserve gate.

* And it is decidedly not "neutral" to demand that the SEIU follow the rules regarding "reserve gate" picketing when University and UNICCO officials reportedly haven't followed those rules themselves.

We urge President Shalala, once again, to immediately attend to the University of Miami janitors’ just demands, satisfying them in the respect of human social and economic rights.