PARSIPPANY — Office cleaners, ignored by their employer, Eastern Essential Services, Inc., rallied on Valentine’s Day to have their benefits restored, after their employer slashed them. The group of workers rallied outside of 389-399 Interpace Parkway.
Solidarity Rally to restore benefits (includes health insurance, pension, paid time off, legal and training fund) and meet with the building owners.
Eastern eliminated meaningful benefits that the workers had under the prior contractor, including health insurance, pension, paid time off, legal and training fund.
“I need the benefits,” said John Hernandez, a cleaner. “I’m disappointed that I’m getting less while still doing the same work. This isn’t fair to me or to my family who depend on this job.”
The former union contractor for the buildings was replaced with Eastern Essential Services, Inc., in 2018. Eastern hired the incumbent union-represented workers. Eastern eliminated meaningful benefits and told them that there would be no union at the site.
32BJ has requested meetings to resolve these issues with the building owners, Vision RE Partners and Rubenstein Partners, for nearly one year.
“After many attempts to meet with Vision RE Partners and Rubenstein Partners to settle this, we must rally with our brothers and sisters who deserve family sustaining wages and basic benefits,” said Kevin Brown, 32BJ Vice President and NJ District Director. “We’re hoping that the building owners can employ a responsible contractor that meets the high standards both clients and workers. We’re calling on the owners to do the right thing and end the suffering. We will not back down.”
In July 2015, the National Labor Relations Board found that Eastern, at other worksites, wrongfully terminated janitors for their union affiliation. The NLRB ruled that Eastern was to reinstate the workers and recognize the union. Eastern agreed to pay $600,000 in back pay and had substantial legal fees.
With 163,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.