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Management And Training

Laid-off housekeepers return to work

February 15, 2010
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WOODS HOLE, MA — After a month of negotiations and union rallies, laid-off housekeepers at Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have reached an agreement that will keep the facility from outsourcing their jobs, according to the Cape Cod Times.

According to the story, MBL agreed to temporarily layoff some of the housekeepers during the facility''s slower winter season instead of outsourcing all of the jobs to the Texas-based JaniKing.

An MBL press release stated that the agreement "addresses the MBL''s need for flexibility in structuring housekeeping services to match occupancy, while doing so in a manner that preserves local jobs with benefits on the Cape. The agreement eliminates the need for MBL to subcontract these positions."

The seasonal layoffs will be based on seniority, and workers that are laid off will be able to receive benefits and return to work during the lab''s busier summer season, the story stated.

Noreen McNamara, head housekeeper, said: "I am proud of my co-workers for the dignity and courage they demonstrated while working to address this difficult challenge. We are proud of the decades of hard work and dedication we have put into our jobs and continue to put into our jobs every day."

The housekeepers are represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Health Care Workers East Local 1199, which represented the workers during negotiations with MBL, the release added.

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