Harvard trims subcontracted custodians
July 1, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, MA — Harvard University officials are making more cuts to the university''s subcontracted custodial staff despite frequent protests by students and staff, according to the Harvard Crimson.
Acme Pioneer Building Services, which employs roughly 40 custodians at the university, all of whom are represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 615, will lay off the equivalent of four full-time employees on July 1, the story stated.
John DeLuca, president of Acme Pioneer Building Services, said: "If Harvard says we''re going to cut these services, it''s what you do. [The union] has nothing to say about the cuts. If you''re running a business and you want to cut somebody, you don''t have to ask the union''s permission. That''s the way America runs."
Another 10 custodians subcontracted by UGL Unicco are scheduled to be laid off by July 13, the story noted.
According to the story, university officials blame the need to trim custodial staff on the slumping endowment.
Harvard has asked its subcontractors to cut operating costs by 30 to 40 percent, directly resulting in the series of layoffs that began last spring, the story added.
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