Friday, June 16, 2006

SEIU Wins at University of Miami

The Service Employees International Union won the right to represent more than 400 janitors at the University of Miami on Thursday, creating the first union presence at the private school.

But the celebrations didn't last long, because the UM janitors used their union victory to spotlight new and ongoing union organizing efforts at local malls and at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale....SEIU has set its sights now on organizing more local employees of Boston-based Unicco Services Co., which has the contract to provide janitors for UM, NSU and a few local malls, including the Shops at Sunset Place and Dadeland....
The mall worker campaign is part of a national initiative recently launched by the union to organize malls owned by Simon Property Group, the largest mall operator in the country.

''I think we're hoping that the inspiration from the janitor's victory at the University of Miami is going to encourage not just workers at Nova but throughout the local area of Miami-Dade and Broward to realize that they too can try to lift themselves out of poverty,'' said Hiram Ruiz, Deputy Director of SEIU Local 11, which will now have the first members on its rolls since the local was created more than two years ago.

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