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Janitors launch strike at Market Tower

September 26, 2007
Janitors working in Market Tower downtown walked off the job yesterday in their ongoing attempt to organize under the Service International Employees Union.

Union backers have complained for months that the company that cleans the tower, Executive Management Services, is discouraging its workers from joining the union.

Both the union and the Indianapolis janitorial company have accused the other of harassment and intimidation.

Executive Management Services, one of the city's largest janitorial firms, says it has asked the union to file a petition for a secret-ballot election with the National Labor Relations Board. The election would help determine whether the workers want the union to represent them.

However, the union frets that an NLRB election would open the door to company managers campaigning one-on-one with workers. Union-organizing activity also would be restricted within the workplace.

Market Tower, on Market Street near the Statehouse, is owned by locally based HDG Mansur, and is home to Key Bank and the law firm Bingham McHale.

Dave Swider, an attorney representing Executive Management Services, said the company is considering its options. Those options include replacing the employees, subcontracting the work, or management undertaking the cleaning.

"Obviously, we have to get the work done," Swider said.

For more on the fight, see an article in this week's IBJ.
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