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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A group of fired cleaners from Nova Place decided to take their concerns to the streets on Friday after suddenly going from gainfully employed to the unemployment line.
Imagine leaving work on a Friday, and then coming back on Monday unable to get into the building. That’s what the workers say happened to them.
So, they held a protest Friday morning on the North Side.
Rev. Dr. Ronald Wanless took his preaching to the streets, passionately standing up for a group of office cleaners now out of a job.
“To all of a sudden fire 16 people so you can get more money somewhere else and pay people less than a living wage,” said Wanless, a retired pastor.
Charese Carter loves her union and worked as one of the cleaners at Nova Place.
“He told us it would be a smooth transition that all we would do is come in and change our shirts,” said Carter.
But when the property company, Faros Properties, changed cleaning companies, things didn’t go as planned for her and her fellow coworkers.
“We left work Friday, June 29, came back Monday, doors locked, no one wants to talk to us, to find out we don’t have a job anymore,” Carter said.
KDKA reached out to a Faros Properties spokesperson who said the bid went out seven months ago and the developer entered an agreement with the Carnegie-based Checklist Facility Maintenance Company, which uses a different union.
They said they gave the other cleaning company’s group more than 30 days’ notice, and that it is up to the group to notify their workers.
Some city police officers did show up during the protest and only a couple of drivers were inconvenienced.
It does seem the protest remained peaceful.