“Used to be the case that regardless if the person was a CEO or the person who cleaned the CEO’s office, when the company was doing better, everyone tended to do a little better,” Dube says. “That has changed.”
One reason that’s changed, Dube says, is because today, janitors generally don’t work for the owners of the buildings they clean. Instead, they work for—and collectively bargain with-- subcontractors: often national or multi-national cleaning companies vying to be the lowest bidders for their customers, the building owners.
“You end up becoming hired by a middle man,” explains Dube. “And that makes it easier for a building owner to not have to pay higher wages when they’re doing pretty well.”