JP Morgan Houston janitor wants Jamie Dimon to walk in her shoes

June 20, 2012

Just as the proverbial shoemaker’s children can go without shoes so, apparently, can a cleaner of corporate office bathrooms not have time for a bathroom break. And with the lack of time to use one of the 24 bathrooms Adriana Vasquez must clean in a five-hour shift at the JP Morgan Chase Tower in Houston, Texas – 22 of them with multiple stalls – comes the absence of a living wage.

So on Tuesday, Vasquez had a question for JP Morgan Chief Jamie Dimon, whose bank is the prime tenant in the 60-story building where she cleans bathrooms five evenings a week.

“Why do you deny the people cleaning your buildings a living wage?” she asked Dimon after he testified about the bank’s multi-billion dollar trading loss in front of Congressional committees on financial institutions and consumer credit. Dimon said to call his office to arrange a meeting, according to the Service Employees International Union.

During her five-hour evening shift, Vaquez makes just $8.35 per hour, says Leslie Mendoza Kamstra, communications director at Local 1 of the SEIU.

The SEIU is trying to negotiate a new contract with Vaquez’s employer, ISS Facility Services, the U.S. arm of Copenhagen-based ISS World Services A/S, after the previous one expired on May 31. On its website, ISS World Services says it strongly believes its long-term success “depends on the balance” of social, environmental and economic aspects of its business.

So how is this balance being manifested?

The SEIU is trying to win a $10 an hour wage for the janitors at Houston’s tallest office building, most of whom get just four-, five- or six-hour workdays.

ISS Facility Services, which supplies janitorial services to Hines Property Management, property manager of the JPMorgan Chase Tower, is offering a 50-cent an hour raise to be phased in over five years, starting with zero the first year.

Raises of 10 cents, 10 cents, 15 cents and 15 cents would follow, respectively, in each of the subsequent four years of the proposed contract.

For workers cleaning the 1.7 million square foot office building, whose key tenants include JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley & Co, and some major law firms, it’s a paltry offer.

Said Kamstra:

We want building owners, property managers, and major tenants to urge the contractors who provide cleaning services to provide good jobs with benefits to the people who clean office buildings in Houston.

If a bank has billions of dollars in profits, the people who work for it, whether directly or indirectly, shouldn’t have to qualify for foodstamps.

Says Vasquez, the bathroom cleaner with no time for a bathroom break: “I want Mr. Dimon to walk a day in my shoes.”

Jamie Dimon earned over $20 million in 2011.

2 comments

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She works four hours a night,is illegal, can’t speak English …. and she’s complaining about having good steady employment? Why is it those that aspire to do nothing always attack those who have made something of themselves? Hey Houston janitors – get educated, learn English, get your papers, THEN work hard and make your own million in the millionaire city. Stop trying to get something for nothing. Freeloaders. EARN a raise.

Posted by Isthatall | Report as abusive

Here, here! Many thanks to Adrian for this great idea! Jamie and friends deserve to be cleaning toilets for the rest of their lives, and gratefully! What sweet justice.

Adrian, be sure to do lunch with Geithner as well, and don’t forget to just keep on asking, until you close the deal, “So how can we make this work?” [Adrian should lead the candidate selection team doing the job interviews!]

How dense can they be not to see that the next step for banks is “Flush” anyway? They’ve got all the requisite qualifications and stink to high heaven to boot! And their new employers will be just ecstatic about the “pro bono” rates. A win-win for everybody!

Posted by KeithAlan | Report as abusive