Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

ABM Janitorial Services charged with racial discrimination

January 7, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS — Charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim American Building Maintenance (ABM) Janitorial Services used racial discriminatory hiring and pay practices against African Americans and African immigrants, according to Workday Minnesota.

According to the story, employees hired through Emerge Staffing, a non-profit organization that provides mostly African Americans and East African immigrants with training and job placement opportunities, were paid less than their coworkers and kept in temporary status — despite being promised permanent employment.

Keyla Kahl, a janitor for ABM, said: "I have worked full-time for ABM for three months now, and I am paid $2.72 less per hour than my coworkers that were not hired through Emerge."

The charges also claim that an ABM supervisor who made racially discriminatory remarks was not reprimanded after ABM management was notified of the comments, the story stated.

Javier Morillo-Alicea, president of Service Employees International Union Local 26, the union representing ABM workers, said: "ABM cannot pay them less because of who they are or what neighborhood they come from. Equal work deserves equal pay."

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