Window cleaners locked out for questioning safety
March 31, 2010
MINNEAPOLIS — Some 50 window cleaners employed by Marsden Final Touch Services and Columbia Building Services were locked out of work Tuesday over contract disputes focusing on job safety, according to the Pioneer Press.
The window cleaners are represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26, who says Marsden Final Touch Services and Columbia Building Services will continue the lockout until a new contract is signed, the story stated.
According to the article, Marsden Final Touch Services and Columbia Building Services are demanding wage reductions for employees of 10 to 28 percent while the window cleaners are seeking more stringent enforcement of safety protocols.
After some window cleaners raised concerns about the purchase dates for the ropes they use and when they were last inspected, Marsden Final Touch Services and Columbia Building Services allegedly said the concerns were "ridiculous" and locked the employees out, the story noted.
Steve Hall, a window cleaner with Columbia Building Services for 16 years, said: "People are hanging on these ropes, and we really don''t know how old they are, when they were inspected or if they were inspected. We''re always told, ''You''re good to go,'' and we always went with them and trusted them."
Safety standards call for ropes used in window cleaning operations to be no more than two years old, the story added.
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