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Custodians upset over shift change

May 29, 2009
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SEATTLE — Swing-shift custodians at the University of Washington are angered over the fact that their hours will soon change regardless of whether or not it is convenient for them, according to Northwest Asian Weekly.
The 66-person workforce, predominantly consisting of Asian, Latino and East African individuals, will forfeit their 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift for that of a shift beginning at 5 a.m. on June 1, the story stated.
Custodian Danilo Penor said: "I have worked nights at the University of Washington for 31 years. During the day, I need to take care of my 85-year-old mother, who is sick. But now if I work days, who will take care of her?"
Many custodians, whose native tongue is not English and may have difficulty communicating with occupants, feel that switching to day shifts will affect the quality of cleanliness in the buildings because the presence of students and staff will hinder cleaning efforts, the story noted.
The university claims the change in shifts is necessary to cut costs associated with cleaning and to save jobs, the story added.
According to the story, the custodians working overnight provide increased security in light of the spike in violence and robberies experienced near the University of Washington campus in recent months.
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