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.