Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Episcopal Seminary Canned Workers After Decades of Service, Union Says

From New York-

Workers who claim they were fired by the Episcopal Church's oldest seminary after more than two decades of service have taken their protest to the streets — erecting a giant protest rat in front of the building.

The five maintenance workers say they lost their jobs at the General Theological Seminary late last month.

The workers, who are all members of the Service Employees Union 32BJ, had been with the seminary for decades, but said they were given letters on Thursday, July 27 notifying them that their jobs would end on Tuesday, July 31.

"That's three business days for 25 years of service," said Errol Morgan, 49, who started at the seminary in 1988 and said the firing means he will be unable to pay Catholic school tuition for his two 8-year-old daughters.

"This is a church — I thought they would have sympathy for human beings. Isn't that what they're all about?"

Maia Davis, a spokeswoman for 32BJ, said the union has lawyers looking into whether the seminary violated a city law giving building service workers 90 days of protection against layoffs if a building changes contractors.

The men were officially employed by Aramark, a maintenance contracting company for schools and universities.

The workers had originally been employed directly by the seminary until Aramark was brought on in 2009, Davis added. The seminary agreed that any new contractors would continue to employ the same workers

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