US Gov. Takes Nova Southeastern University to Trial for Violating Workers' Rights

-- 100 Cleaners Making just over $7 per Hour May Have Been Wrongfully

Terminated --

Sep 03, 2008, 01:00 ET from SEIU Local 32BJ

    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.