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Management And Training

A Backwards Glance

December 12, 2011
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A clearer picture can be seen by analyzing past events.

Once the past is firmly in the past, it is easier to look back on what has transpired and gather whatever lessons or information might be there that we missed the first time around.

Throughout the entirety of 2011, CM e-News Daily delivered fresh JanSan news to subscribers'' inboxes each day, and as we look back on our coverage, we found some recurring themes that seemed to affect readers the most.

Electrically Converted Water Debate

Late in 2010, competitors of Tennant Company conducted independent testing of the technology in order to debunk its effectiveness, while Tennant stood firmly behind its technology.

The debate, from both sides, follows.

December 13, 2010 — PLYMOUTH, MN — Nilfisk-Advance Inc. has announced additional independent test results of ec-H2O, electrically converted water used in professional floor scrubbers, according to a press release.

The testing shows that a floor scrubber using ec-H2O reduced adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to the same level as plain tap water, the release stated.

According to the release, Nilfisk-Advance retained an independent and internationally accredited laboratory to measure the performance of a Tennant scrubber using ec-H2O and using plain tap water.

"These results confirm that, when used in a professional floor scrubber, there is no discernible difference between the performance of ec-H2O and plain tap water in reducing ATP," said Wade Reitmeier, general manager of research and development and product management for Nilfisk-Advance.

December 14, 2010 — MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Tennant Company has put its competitors on notice that it stands behind its proprietary ec-H2O technology, according to a press release.

This announcement stems from a recent press release issued by Nilfisk-Advance and related statements that attempt to discredit the effectiveness of Tennant''s electrically converted water technology, the release noted.

"We will continue to develop and market innovative technologies and solutions and would expect to face competitive challenges as we become more and more successful in the marketplace," said Chris Killingstad, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Tennant Company.

"We will vigorously protect our technologies, products and brand from being the subjects of false and/or misleading statements," Killingstad added.

Privatization

There was an increase in instances where it was realized that the monetary savings of privatization didn''t always trump what would be lost by losing an in-house staff.

April 5, 2011 — BREWER, ME — Custodians, teachers, staff and residents spoke out against the outsourcing of six custodial positions, but not in time, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The cleaning contract, which was awarded to ServiceMaster, will eliminate six of the school department''s 12 custodians and will save around $100,000 annually, the article noted.

"These kids know our names and see us every day," said Jeff Weeks, Brewer High School''s custodial staff supervisor and union vice president.

"Are the ServiceMaster janitors going to unjam their lockers, help them find their coats?" Weeks asked.

August 8, 2011 — TRENTON, NJ — The board of education has voted to keep nearly 130 custodial jobs in-house, according to The Times.

The decision was thanks in part to a last-minute $10 million supplemental spending plan and concession from the custodial union, the article stated.

"These people are heroes because the sacrifices that they were willing to make helped us to keep our investment in children," said Reverend Toby Sanders, board president.

The custodians'' current contract with the district is set to expire at the end of the upcoming school year when the issue of privatization could be revisited, the article noted.

Immigration

Immigrant labor, and the debate that swirls around it, is not something new by any stretch of the imagination.

March 15, 2011 — MINNEAPOLIS — Costco Wholesale has entered a partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to The Seattle Times.

The partnership will ensure that all current and future employees of the company that are immigrants are legally allowed to work in the U.S., the article stated.

According to the article, ICE will train program participants in proper hiring practices, including how to spot potentially fraudulent employment documents.

June 21, 2011 — SAN JOSE, CA — Janitors demanding comprehensive immigration reform rallied Monday against federal immigration raids at workplaces, according to KGO-TV.

Protestors are claiming that instead of targeting the employers that need to be looked at, the Department of Homeland Security instead has stepped up worksite enforcement aimed at immigrant workers, the article stated.

"We''re really giving the message that we want hope, not fear," said Denise Solis with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Service Workers.

Superbugs

2011 saw an influx of superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and norovirus, often shutting down schools and hospitals until they were thoroughly disinfected.

March 28, 2011 — LOS ANGELES — A rare antibiotic-resistant superbug is spreading through health care facilities in Southern California, according to ABC News.

According to a study from the L.A. County Department of Public Health, about 350 cases of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) have been reported in Los Angeles County between June and December of 2010.

"These patients tend to be elderly, they are commonly on ventilators and they often stay at the facility for an extended period of time," said Dr. Dawn Terashita, medical epidemiologist and lead author of the study.

CRKP is another superbug, much like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), that can outwit typical antibiotics, the article noted.

June 10, 2011 — ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO — Despite stepping up infection control measures, Clostridium difficile (C. diff) continues to spread in St. Catharines General Hospital, according to The Standard.

The Niagara Health System decided to cancel elective surgeries and place further restrictions on visitors while the hospital attempts to get the outbreak under control, the article stated.

"While the number of known cases of hospital-acquired C. difficle has grown to 22, with 16 of the patients in isolation for treatment, most are not actually new cases," said Dr. Jessica Hopkins of the Niagara Public Health Department.

Acquisitions

The buying and selling of companies isn''t a new practice and tends to happen more often than is reported.

2011, however, saw a few acquisitions that resonated throughout the industry.

June 1, 2011 — STURTEVANT, WI — Sealed Air Corporation and Diversey Holdings Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement under which Sealed Air will acquire Diversey in a transaction valued at $4.3 billion, according to a press release.

"This transaction represents a strategic growth opportunity that leverages Sealed Air''s core competencies and positions our company to further capitalize on the megatrends that drive both businesses," said William V. Hickey, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Sealed Air.

September 23, 2011 — BURLINGTON, WA — Legend Brands Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bill Bruders has announced that RPM International Inc. has signed an agreement to purchase the Legend Brands family of companies, according to a press release.

Effective September 30, the Legend Brands companies, including Dri-Eaz Products, ProRestore Products and Sapphire Scientific, will become part of RPM2, a unit of RPM International, the release stated.

According to the release, under the sales agreement, Legend Brands will remain a stand-alone operation within RPM2 and will continue to be led by its existing management team and headed by Bruders.

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