Tuesday, 23 October 2018

In this article originally published in RankandFile.ca on April 4 Jason Edwards explains what legislated measures would protect workers like the Founders Square cleaners against contract flipping and resulting job loss and loss of union representation. This morning I met with NSFL president Danny Cavanagh and SEIU Local 2 president Jackie Swaine who are lobbying the government to enact similar legislation, we will have a story on that later.

Another rally at Founders Square this morning. Armour Group may have assumed those noisy happenings would stop by now, but supporters of the fired Black workers aren’t going away. For this reporting job I was joined by my son Simon, an excellent photographer.

Lynn Jones, who helped organize the protests in support of the unjustly fired Founders Square janitors, is very happy about how Halifax responded to her call for action. But she is angry about the way the unfair treatment of Black workers was sanitized in much of the local press. Reporters, grow some spine, she says, and ask some follow-up questions rather than just write down what the Armour Group and the new cleaning contractor tell you.

The Armour Group, property managers of Founders Square, have pointed to poor service to justify the termination of the janitorial services contract with GDI, causing the layoff of seven Black janitors. This Saturday Robert Wright, a tenant of the building, wrote a letter to set the record straight. “I have been in that building for several years and have never had occasion to complain about the state of cleanliness in the mornings.” Wright wants both the Armour Group as well as one of its main tenants, the Province of Nova Scotia, to right this wrong.