Custodians Face Outsourcing

Home improvement chain and school district among businesses considering janitor layoffs

August 9, 2019

Home improvement store Lowe’s has announced it is laying off thousands of workers, including those performing maintenance and facility-service jobs, such as store custodians, CNN reports.

Lowe’s will use service provider contractors to fulfill its maintenance and custodian tasks. All workers who lose their jobs will be issued transition pay and the opportunity to apply for open positions at the stores.

Lowe's declined to say exactly how many workers will be laid off. It currently operates more than 1,700 stores nationwide. As of February 1, Lowe's employed approximately 190,000 full-time and 110,000 part-time employees in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Custodians caring for big box facilities are not the only workers in danger of being outsourced. The 63 custodians working in the Erie School District in Erie, Penn., may be out of their jobs depending on a school board vote, Erie News Now reports. The district superintendent said in-house janitorial services cost the district more than US$4 million in wages and benefits and that outsourcing the services could save $1 million.

Outside of financial considerations, businesses have many reasons to outsource maintenance operations, such as filling short-term or part-time jobs or needing specialty expertise for a project.



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