Skip to comments.Crew of 9 at Episcopal Church Center abruptly fired (Hypocrisy ALERT)
Posted on 02/07/2010 3:57:29 PM PST by hiho hiho
They worked for years cleaning and maintaining the Episcopal Church Center in midtown Manhattan. But after they were fired on Dec. 30, nine hard-working people are in desperate need of divine intervention.
"We came to work on Dec. 30 as every day, hoping to leave a little earlier to celebrate the new year," said Bronx native Héctor Miranda, a father of three. "But when we got to the building we were told that we no longer worked there. Just like that. They picked the date well to fire us."
Now, without the means to support his family, Miranda has no idea how he will pay the rent.
"Even worse," he said, "without health coverage I don't know how I am going to pay for my wife's treatment. She is a diabetic, you know."
The workers lost their jobs - which paid standard wages and benefits - when the church canceled the contract with Paris Maintenance, a union cleaning contractor, and replaced it with the nonunion Benjamin Enterprises.
The workers belong to SEIU Local 32BJ, which is helping them organize demonstrations outside the church to protest what the union calls "the unlawful termination" of the porters - and to demand that they be offered jobs by the new contractor.
"We have called Benjamin Enterprises and asked to keep our jobs, but we haven't received any response," the workers said in a letter addressed to presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, and to Bonnie Anderson, president of the church's house of deputies.
"We believe that the Episcopal Church would not want to create more poverty in this world, so we are hopeful that the church will do everything in its power to help us regain our jobs," the letter said. It was signed by, among others, Max Fullner and Raymond Hines, who worked at the church for 42 years; Ives Jean Pierre, 39 years, and Ahmed Alsaidy, 27 years. The way they were just suddenly terminated after all those years of service speaks volumes to the injustice done to them.
Last Thursday, more than 100 people gathered in front of the church to support the workers and ask church officials to help them get their jobs back.
"They [church officials] just looked out the windows," said Colombian-born Andrea Saavedra, 32, who worked at the church building for two years and 16 for Paris Maintenance.
"It needs to be clear that looking for a new contract is a normal business procedure," said church spokeswoman Neva Rae Fox.
But a church is not supposed to be a business and Saavedra, the single mother of a 12-year-old daughter, said: "One would expect better from church people, one would expect them to be examples of fairness and kindness."
For Alsaidy, an immigrant from Yemen and an American citizen, losing his job has been devastating. The father of six frets about losing the family's health care coverage.
"I have to work to support my family," said a desperate Alsaidy. If I cannot make the mortgage we could lose our house."
Linda Watts, chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church, put out an official statement: "Budget constraints have prompted The Episcopal Church to review all contracts and to implement cost-cutting measures where possible," she said. No mention of the plight of the nine men and women thrown out to the streets or of lending them a helping hand.
"Good luck, we wish you all the best," read the note the workers found in their lockers on Dec. 30. The only thing missing was "Happy New Year."
Ok so these workers belong to a union that regularly demonizes their employer and they are surprised they are out of a job?
How much notice did the union and/or the contractor get? Why didn’t they provide succor and aid as well as reasonable notice? The big bad Church gets tarred by the media, the rats involved get a pass. Odd.
Ok, first the church did not fire them. They ended the contact with the cleaning service. Why can’t the cleaning service put them in another gig?
I mean when I stopped working and no longer needed Mary Maids, they ladies that came to my house just started cleaning other houses.
It is the maintenance company which acts a a labor leasing agent who fired these people not the church
This Union (mostly overpaid doormen in NYC) was formerly run by John Sweeney (former head of the AFL CIO) and Gus Bovina - one an ardent commie and the other just corrupt
The union just collects dues from the contract employer and papers everyone working at multiple locations with a broad contract
The employer (not the church) knew this contract was not being renewed but held that information from their employees
The union also knew when the contract expired and withheld that information from it's dues paying members
Now who's the bad guy here?
It's not the church
I didn’t think my extremely low esteem of TEC could get any lower...I was wrong!
Isn’t the union going to give them money and pay to keep their benefits for a while?? What did all that dues get them?
Is the Manhattan congregation too good to clean their own church so they have to contract it out?
if some of these folks have worked for their contractor for all these years, it seems to me, if their contractor doesn’t reassign them, they should be protesting the contractor, not the church. It is the congregation of the church who pays church expenses and the congregation should have the right to spend their Voluntary Donations To The Church however they deem appropriate. Is that what is really being attacked? the union doesn’t think the church members ‘donate’ enough?
Please read the following resolution from the 75th general convention.
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention support actively the right of workers to form a union, and increase the support in our cities and states for passage of living wage legislation; and be it further
Resolved, That the Convention commit the Church at all levels to contract solely with union hotels in its meetings, or to obtain confirmation that local prevailing living wages are paid by all hotels the Church uses; and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention strongly urge the Church Center staff and especially the General Convention Planning Office to assure that dioceses that host events of The Episcopal Church comply with GC2003-A130 and provide a living wage for their employees; and be it further
Resolved,That we commend to the Church at all levels the services of Informed Meetings Exchange (www.inmex.org), a new non-profit agency committed to helping organizations make informed decisions regarding convention and meeting planning.
“I didnt think my extremely low esteem of TEC could get any lower...I was wrong!”
What is TEC?
Are you referring to the ECUSA?
It is not the church that fired the people.
And this from the Episcopal News Service—
LOS ANGELES: Episcopalians join hotel worker protest
By Jim DeLa, July 14, 2009
[Episcopal News Service — Anaheim, California] Episcopalians attending General Convention linked arms with hotel workers July 14 to march to the gates of Disneyland to demand economic justice for 2,300 Disney employees protesting a planned hike in the cost of their health insurance.
“It seems to me, as our church has moved toward a position of justice for all its members, particularly in the area of health care, this is the perfect opportunity for the church to witness to the world about its convictions regarding economic justice,” said the Rev. Lisa Hackney, from the Diocese of Ohio.
Ada Briceno, an official from Local 11 of UNITE HERE, a Los Angeles-based union that includes hotel and restaurant workers, said they have been working without a contract since February 2008. Disney wants to replace the union-funded health plan with a corporate plan, she said, which in time, will cost a minimum-wage worker about $500 a month for insurance for a family. “These are low-paid workers, making on average about $11 an hour,” she said.
Several hundred people gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center to hear a prayer by Bishop Jon Bruno of Los Angeles, before joining more than 1,000 others already on the march to Disneyland.
“I cannot think of any reason more than the Gospel proclamation of do justice’ and do God’s work.’ This is where I need to be,” said the Rev. Yamily Bass-Choate, a deputy from the diocese of New York.
Lynn Tyler, a deputy from the Diocese of New Hampshire, was marching to support Disney workers, 75 percent of whom, she said, are women. “And of those women, many are single parents. They’re pretty much living on the edge as it is.”
A letter in support of Disney workers signed by 13 Episcopal bishops said they were taking seriously “our call to stand with the poor and those who are suffering from injustice.” The protest included Episcopal bishops Greg Rickel (Olympia), Gene Robinson (New Hampshire) and Barbara Harris (retired of Massachusetts).
Henry Atkins Jr., of the Episcopal Church Peace and Justice Commission of the Diocese of Los Angeles, is asking Episcopalians to boycott Disney hotels if the workers ask.
“We’re now marching with these people who are working for Disney for their rights, their privileges that they deserve as human beings,” said Bishop Bruno. “We ask you to let us turn the eyes of Disney toward justice and mercy; toward benefits, and the things necessary for people to live a just and abundant life.”
— Jim DeLa is director of communications for the Diocese of Southwest Florida.
Follow the money, honey, and you will find the answer!
Not only is this terribly written, it is wrong.
the author sounds like an anti-Christian union thug who saw a way to get revenge.
The church didn’t fire these people, they just didn’t renew the contract with Paris Maintenance a “union cleaning contractor.”
So the bad guy isn’t the church but company they worked for OR their union but it certainly wasn’t the church.
Why hasn’t Paris just put them to work cleaning on another job?
Or why didn’t the union start paying them - they could be picketing for the union against the latest pro-family, pro-life, conservative or free enterprise issue that the Obama administration asked them to go to.
OR why didn’t they file for unemployment?
Unless of course the Paris maintenance was owned by the one or more of the workers that are complaining that the Church owes them a living. Then hmmm that’s life in the bad world.
Which one are you looking for?
I won’t mention the name of the church to avoid the usual clap trap of drive by mean remarks. However one large church changed their policy world wide and started having members of the church volunteer. Since three different congregations use the church building, it didn’t require members to volunteer more than once a year. The church asked that the members do it as a family service project and two families dust,vacuum,and clean the bathrooms each week.
The families found that it was a fun family time and looked forward to socializing with other families while they cleaned.
The church stays cleaner now that members are taking care of it and realize how hard of a job it is when it isn’t picked up each day.
A phony far-left organization masquerading as a church.
Article was poorly written —this is the church headquarters.
FYI..hard to decide who to be for, or rather, against..TEC or SEIU??..hmm??..I shall have to pray on it..
What this is all about is extortion by the Union.
Definitely against SEIU but not necessarily for TEC.
I was part of the “Bathroom ministry” myself.
Look for...the union label...if you want to...be out of...a job.
No, no, “Germ-prevention Ministry”! Weren’t you listening?!?
Nine paid employees to keep a church clean? My parish - 1,800 households - has ONE full-time maintenance employee, who is in his 70s. “OMG, Richard, I smell gas!” Everything else is volunteer.
ECUSA is now TEC [The Episcopal Church]
Guess again sucker. Those sleek white liberals who are not answering your letters and appeals are all making fat six figure salaries, and they are not about to give up their perks just so you peons can eat.
It's the headquarters operation. How many folks do this kind of work in the administrative offices in the Vatican?
I’m still back at PECUSA.
They would also qulify for unemployment compensation...like the rest of us mere mortals.
“ECUSA is now TEC [The Episcopal Church]”
Well I left the ECUSA ten years ago, when the gays and radicals took over, and the USA over 5 years ago.
There probably not enough Episcopalians left to matter what
they call it.
Prior to that, I was senior warden of the oldest Episcopal
church in my diocese (1832).
Oh, I see. I should have read more carefully.
Grew up in the Episcopal Church, but left after going to Viet Nam.