US Gov. Takes Nova Southeastern University to Trial for Violating Workers' Rights
-- 100 Cleaners Making just over $7 per Hour May Have Been Wrongfully
MIAMI, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint yesterday against Nova Southeastern University (NSU) alleging that the university violated cleaning workers' rights by coercing and threatening workers during a lawful SEIU organizing campaign in 2006. The NLRB has scheduled the date of the trail to begin on November 17, 2008. "The NLRB decision against NOVA reaffirms the right of all workers to organize into a union," said Rob Schuler of the Service Employees International Union in southern Florida. "Employer threats and intimidation have no place in the work site." The NLRB's decision comes on the heels of charges filed in 2007 when Nova's administration responded to workers efforts' to form a union by terminating their employer's cleaning contract, ending its decade long relationship with UNICCO Services, leaving more than 100 janitors without jobs and forcing the workers and their families deeper into poverty. The university replaced UNICCO with smaller contractors that would not recognize the workers right to have a union. Furthermore, a new complaint is expected to come up shortly determining that Nova's cleaning contractors did not hire the workers because of their union activities. Janitors at Nova earn less and have fewer benefits than their counterparts at other South Florida universities earning just over $7.00 per hour, far less than the county living wage of $12.51 per hour. While other universities in South Florida, like the University of Miami, Florida International University and Saint Thomas University have raised standards, wages and provided health insurance for the contract workers on campus, NSU has fought the workers on campus trying to secure living wages, health benefits and a voice on the job. With more than 100,000 members in 7 states, local 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.
SOURCE SEIU Local 32BJ