At the company where I work, they outsource the janitorial services for the buildings. Recently, they replaced the contractors with another after a competitive bidding process.
I was worried about the workers. Some have been working with that contractor providing services to the company for almost 15 years. But in speaking with one of the janitors, they indicated that the contractor hired some of them to continue working.
However, as the person kept talking, they indicated that they would be getting paid less. They would only be paid for the days they worked: no paid time off or paid holidays. I’m not sure about sick days; I should probably find that out.
This is expected in this case – janitorial services are heavily labour dependent. What technological achievements in janitorial services have been made that would have one contractor operate so efficiently that they would be much cheaper than another.
So in trying to save money by offering a competitive bidding process, the small worker has suffered.
This situation reminded me of an article in the New York Times – To Understand Rising Inequality, Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies, Then and Now. It talks about the choices that companies make now concerning the workforce that has contributed to the rising inequality.
We are continually making the wrong decisions when it comes to taking care of the most vulnerable in our society. We need to do better.