9/29: A Day of Reflection and Action
We are tired of being offered crumbs from the table while the owners of Diversified feast. We demand dignity and respect; we demand a place at the table!
For more than six months, Diversified Maintenance employees have been requesting a meeting with the company to talk about ways we can work together to improve the retail cleaning industry.
The response? According to several workers, Diversified Maintenance is offering to pay for a lunch at Mall of America on September 29th. In the meantime:
- On August 30, 2012, an agreement was reached in a United States District Court in Minnesota to allow for conditional certification of an ongoing lawsuit against Diversified Maintenance as a class action lawsuit, potentially opening the case to include Diversified employees throughout the Midwest. The original case was filed in October 2011 by a dozen workers in Minnesota against Diversified Maintenance regarding allegations of unpaid overtime wages.
- In July 2012, 17 Diversified Maintenance employees filed charges with OSHA regarding allegations of unsafe working conditions, and citations have now been sent to the company for correction.
- At the same time as one Diversified employee who cleans the Kmart stores is homeless, some executives of the company that owns Diversified Maintenance (Frontenac) own homes valued between $1.2 – $3.6 million.
- Over the past six years, Diversified Maintenance has been involved in at least six lawsuits and one U.S. Department of Labor investigation alleging unpaid overtime wages (See “A Dirty Business: Worker Exploitation in Minnesota’s Retail Janitorial Industry“).
- Diversified Maintenance employees and their families continue to earn sub-poverty wages, forcing them to make hard decisions about how to cover rent, food, medical expenses for their children, etc.
We are tired of being offered crumbs from the table when we complain about problems in the workplace while the owners of the company feast. We demand dignity and respect; we demand a place at the table!