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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-31-06 08:27 AM
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Mall cleaners seek a union contract

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Mall cleaners seek a union contract
Newsday Staff Writer

August 31, 2006

Making ends meet on $6.75 an hour can be difficult for Carlos Garcia-Dias, a cleaner at The Source mall food court. And when he gets too sick to work, as he did for three days three months ago, his situation becomes even more precarious.

But Garcia-Dias, who does not receive paid sick days at the mall in Westbury, said he believes his employer can do better. The company pays higher wages and provides benefits to other janitors at the same mall. The only difference: a union contract.

"I'm hoping to complete the dream of joining the union and having the benefits," said Garcia-Dias, who spoke in Spanish through a translator, at a rally yesterday to protest low wages and lack of benefits as well as the alleged intimidation he and others say they face when they try to organize their fellow cleaners.

Garcia-Dias joined about three dozen other janitors, members of Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union and local elected officials, across the street from Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City as they called to task Control Building Services Inc., the Secaucus, N.J., company contracted by Simon Property Group to provide janitorial services at its four Long Island malls.

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