Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Union head slams Gingrich's jab at janitors

January 18, 2012

NEW YORK — The president of the New York custodial workers union is countering Newt Gingrich''s proposal to hire students in place of costly unionized janitors, according to the New York Daily News.

The former Speaker of the House has said that unionized janitors make "an absurd" amount of money and should be replaced with student laborers, the article stated.

"The 5,000 men and women who keep New York City public schools clean are paid no more than $37,000 a year in the most expensive city in the country," said Hector Figueroa, secretary treasurer of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 32BJ.

"To say these jobs pay too much or should be given to kids is just a slap in the face of hardworking Americans struggling to make ends meet on poverty-like wages," Figueroa added.

According to the article, at Monday''s GOP primary debate in South Carolina, Gingrich claimed New York City could hire 30 children for the price of on professional cleaner, noting that his own daughter''s first job was cleaning up at a church when she was 13.

Figueroa called the example ignorant and said it "shows how disconnected he is from the things that actual workers do," the article noted.

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