Black janitors allege racial discrimination, plan to file human rights complaint
By The Canadian Press
HALIFAX – A group of black janitors at a Halifax office building is accusing the property manager and an incoming cleaning contractor of racial discrimination.
The seven unionized workers of African descent who clean Founders Square say they are filing a complaint with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.
They say one white cleaner, of the eight non-supervisory cleaners, will keep their job under the new cleaning contract, while the black workers are all set to lose their jobs at the end of the month.
The janitors and their supporters gathered outside the historic Hollis Street building today in protest, chanting “justice for janitors” and waving placards that said “black workers matter.”
Darius Mirshahi, an organizer with the Service Employees International Union Local 2, says normally a company that takes over a cleaning contract for a building will hire the existing cleaners.
He says a picket will be set up outside the building starting next week if the new cleaning contractor, Deep Down Cleaning Services, and the property manager, Armour Group, do not offer the janitors their jobs back.
The companies were not immediately available for comment.