Over 150 female janitors along with community supporters marched on the streets of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose on National Women’s Day on March 5, 2020, to demand an end to sexual harassment and violence for workers operating on the night shift.
Seeking Justice for Victims
The event was organized in partnership with the SEIU United Service Workers West. It was a part of a campaign for more than 25,000 janitors across California. One of the women marchers, Maribel Cabrera, said that they were here to seek justice for janitors and highlight their issues before the employers.
The march in San Diego passed in front of the CBRE building. According to Service Employees International Union (SEIU), companies like CBRE play a vital role in setting work safety standards in buildings across the state. However, they do have a history of working with contractors that are known to mistreat their workers.
Pushing for Stronger Laws
Janitors in recent years have been working with lawmakers to pass laws that require all janitors to receive training to prevent sexual violence and harassment. They have also pushed for a law requiring every janitorial contractor to register with the State. Many of the protesters are now also calling for property management companies and building owners to sign a new deal that will protect their rights as workers.
CBRE has issued a response to the media to explain their stance on the concerns raised by female janitors. The company said in its defense: “CBRE feels strongly about the fair and ethical treatment of everyone, including the workers at contractors we retain to provide services at properties we manage.”
“We have a Supplier Code of Conduct with strong safeguards of worker rights and have screened approximately 30,000 suppliers to ensure their compliance with our standards. To our knowledge, the Union has not brought any alleged violations by contractors directly to our attention. The Code of Conduct can be found here.”
Sexual Harassment is Widespread in the Industry
SEIU, which is the union representing more than 25,000 janitors across California, carried out a survey of its members’ sexual harassment encounters at the workplace.
More than 50 percent of the five thousand workers who responded to the survey reported that they had suffered from sexual harassment or sexual violence on the job. An additional 25 percent of the respondents reported having witnessed such incidents.
The marches on the streets of California are part of the SEIU campaign for better protections against sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Consult with a Skilled Sexual Harassment Law Firm in California
If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual harassment, you can receive the right legal advice from highly experienced sexual harassment lawyers at Makarem & Associates in California. Call 310-312-0299 today or email at [email protected].