Contract termination prompts outcry
CAMBRIDGE, MA — Harvard Medical School has cited "financial constraints" as the motivation behind cutting 31 custodial contract jobs, prompting criticism from the labor union that represents the workers and the circulation of an online petition opposing the decision, according to The Harvard Crimson.
The cuts are due to the cancellation of a nearly seven year contract with American Cleaning Company Inc., and will go into effect on August 17, the article stated.
According to the article, 90 people currently hold custodial jobs at the Medical School, however, 60 of those workers are employed by the Medical School, not the contractor, and will keep their jobs when the cuts take effect.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 615, which represents "both the custodial workers hired directly by the Medical School and those contracted through American Cleaning Company," has spoken out against the decision, the article noted.
"How could it be that a university as prestigious and as rich as Harvard doesn't have enough money to pay the lowest-paid workers within the institution," asked Barbara Bastardo, a custodial worker at the Medical School contracted through American Cleaning Company.
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