Sunday, May 21, 2006

New Website Highlights Low-Wage Workers at Malls

Taken from the new website

Unsafe working conditions, poverty-level wages of mall workers initial focus of new effort spotlighting larger role of shopping malls in our communities

Washington, DC – Beyond the sales, the stores, and the perfume samples, what is the larger role that malls play in our communities? That’s the central question behind a new website effort to go “Inside Malls.” spotlights dangerous working conditions that often put mall workers at risk and the low wages and lack of access to health benefits that leave many janitors, security officers, and other service workers struggling to make ends meet. The website is sponsored by the nation’s largest union, SEIU (Service Employees International Union), which has united more of these types of workers than any other union...

Workers at Simon malls in a number of cities are working with SEIU to address working conditions and improve their lives. Contract workers employed to provide security and cleaning services in malls in Miami, Boston, Indianapolis, San Diego, and other cities are calling attention to health and safety concerns, poor employment standards, and other community issues related to malls and shopping centers.

“I’ve been asking my supervisor for protective boots. The machine that I work with hurts my legs regularly and I also work with acids that damage my legs. They gave me protective gear a long time ago but now the suit is useless and the boots cause me to slip because they are worn down,” said Marzio Moreno Silva, a janitor at the Shops at Sunset Place Mall in Miami, another Simon mall. “I have asked many times—but I never get an answer.” [cont'd]

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