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Cleaning staff calling for better working conditions

June 28, 2013

COLLEGE PARK, MD — Every day, cleaning staff members at the University of Maryland enter a janitorial closet to eat, surrounded by the cleaning supplies used to clean classrooms and labs, according to the Washington Post.

On Thursday, cleaning staff, joined by students and other university staff members, staged a protest to highlight their poor working conditions, the article stated.

According to the article, the university employs around 250 full-time cleaning staff members, who indicate that the work is hard and sometimes hazardous.

"We need safe buildings; we need to have the lights and air conditioning turned on at 4 a.m., especially now with the heat," said Antonia Escobar, 50, a housekeeper at the university for seven years, who indicated that safety and well-being are real concerns for the staff.

Escobar believes she has been targeted as a "troublemaker," and was punished for speaking up about an increase in the housekeeping workload; as a result, for two years, she was required to clean four buildings instead of three, the article noted.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.