Jan 27, 2023 | News Story

The Other Tech Layoffs: Janitors Protest Outside Twitter HQ in Manhattan

On Wednesday, contracted cleaners from Twitter’s NYC and San Francisco offices, 32BJ SEIU members, labor leaders, elected officials, and allies rallied outside Twitter HQ in Manhattan. Cleaners at Twitter’s 245-249 West 17th St. location have had their lives being upended after Twitter canceled its contract with their employer Flagship Services with no explanation on December 19th. The cleaners are facing severe hardship and the cancellation of their union healthcare benefits at the end of the month.

Under New York’s Displaced Building Service Workers Protection Act, incoming cleaning contractors must retain cleaners employed by an outgoing contractor for a transition period to prevent workers from experiencing this type of abrupt displacement. If cleaning is taking place in the building that would be a violation of the Act.

A sister rally was held at the same time in San Francisco to demand justice for 48 cleaners (represented by SEIU Local 87) at Twitter’s San Francisco office who also lost their jobs after Twitter canceled its contract with Flagship Services there. 32BJ and Local 87 are uniting to make sure office cleaning jobs at Twitter remain good paying union jobs with quality healthcare.

“Our lives have been upended. Without this job and the union health benefits I would be thousands of dollars in debt because of medical bills. I know what it is like to work as a non-union cleaner. I can’t go back to that. We were there to keep the office clean during the pandemic. And now we have no job. It is a crisis for me and my family. I am a single mother with 4 kids,” said NYC cleaner Merita Gashi. Read more here, watch a More Perfect Union video here, and click here to sign up for updates!

(photo via 32BJ SEIU)