Response to the Feb. 28 article “Janitors protest hiring practices.”
The following is additional information offered by Fox Realty regarding Feb. 28’s story, “Janitors protest hiring practices.”
Fox Realty does not manage the First Union Center.
The readers, however, should be aware of some facts which give the SEIU’s assault some context.
Contrary to the impressions the SEIU seeks to create, this is not about our refusal to hire union janitors. We do not employ janitors. This is also not about the employees of any of our contractors; it is about the Union and its desire for new dues paying members.
Whether employees of any of our contractors are to be represented by and pay dues to a Union is an issue for the employees themselves. Under the national labor laws which apply to our industry, an employer cannot legally recognize or deal with a Union on behalf of its employees unless a majority of the employees say they want such representation.
For the last several years, the SEIU has been attempting to convince the employees of various cleaning contractors in the Philadelphia area to designate SEIU as their representative and agree to pay dues.
To date, the SEIU has been unsuccessful in its efforts to organize these people. As a direct result of those failures, the Union is now seeking to achieve their goals by attempting to force building owners and operators to fire their current contractors who have good relations with their employees. The effort of the Union is to force building owners and operators to hire contractors that require union membership as a condition of employment.
We suggest that the SEIU do what the law contemplates talk to the employees of our contractors and convince the employees to choose to be represented by and pay dues to the SEIU. If the employees select the Union, we are sure that the contractors will obey the law and deal with the SEIU. Until then, the SEIU should not seek through this kind of pressure on building managers and owners to achieve what they have been unable to do by dealing directly with the workers.
Senior Vice President
Fox Realty Co.