Big purple sign.
  • Big purple sign.

Metro has a dirty problem: More than 200 regional janitorial workers and their union friends marched on the headquarters of the Metro Regional Government this afternoon to protest Metro laying off three janitors and replacing them with non-union workers.

Outside the Metro building on NE Grand, the crowd walked around in a circle chanting rhyming union phrases. My personal favorite: “Metro, Metro, you can't hide. We can see your greedy side!”

Felisa Hagins, SEIU Local 49's political director, says Metro changed its janitorial contract for maintaining the Metro HQ building last December, opting to work with a non-union janitorial firm. On January 3rd, three Metro janitors were laid off and replaced with non-union workers, according to Hagins. "This recent decision is part of Metro's general anti-union behavior towards low-wage workers," Hagins said.

Bob Deyoe was laid off in March after working as a janitor at Metro for more than three years. “Sustainability isn't just about rivers and trees, it's about people,” says Deyoe.

So if SEIU succeeds in convincing Metro to sign with a union janitorial contractor, what will happen to the current non-union janitors working in the Metro building? Hagins says SEIU's goal is not to leave those non-union workers without a job, but that SEIU's master janitorial contract would allow those workers to keep their jobs and move directly into SEIU's union if Metro switches to a responsible contractor.

Then, everyone listened to a lady on a loud speaker talk about how irresponsible and mean Metro was being. And then it started raining and we all got soaked.

That's all the news about the protest, except for the photo below the cut of the amazing denim jacket attending the protest.

At least one stellar denim jacket was in attendance.
  • At least one stellar denim jacket was in attendance.