Over the past few months, outsourcing and subcontracting at Stanford Hospital and Clinics (SHC) has threatened the jobs of dozens of workers. SHC has recently laid off over a dozen janitorial workers and plans to lay off more by the end of this year. At the School of Medicine, SHC laid off thirteen of its original thirty-eight housekeeping assistants. Of the remaining twenty-five workers, sixteen have been given provisional employment until October 2013 (at which point they will most likely be laid off), and nine have been converted to “float workers” with no guarantee of permanent employment.
These layoffs have forced severe work speed-ups and paved the way for jobs to be outsourced to a subcontractor, despite the fact that subcontractors on campus consistently provide fewer benefits, lower wages, and worse working conditions. SHC also maintains that it cannot find positions for the “float pool” workers despite continuing to hire workers through subcontractors and temp agencies.
In addition, workers at the Clark Center, a research facility affiliated with SHC, have also experienced cuts starting in November 2012. Six of the nine Clark Center janitors no longer work directly for SHC, and were instead hired by the subcontractor UGL. The process of being laid off and subsequently re-hired in virtually the same positions meant that they lost their seniority and benefits, experienced significant pay cuts and are now required to do even more work. For example, one worker who has worked at the Clark Center for over a decade had his salary cut by over a third after being hired by UGL. In addition, some workers were offered part-time jobs with SHC, but the part-time status meant a significant pay decrease and lost benefits.
These recent events follow a longstanding pattern at SHC and other Stanford facilities of subcontracting services in order to release Stanford of responsibility for maintaining safe and abuse-free working environments. UGL Unicco and Flagship Facilities & Services (another subcontractor) have gradually taken over the services of many Med School and Stanford Hospital buildings for four years now, reducing the number of direct hires.
In addition, and perhaps more insidiously, since 2007, SHC subcontracted management of housekeeping assistants to Sodexo, Inc., a company internationally notorious for labor abuses. Managers employed by Sodexo have increased workloads, liberally fired workers, and implemented excessive surveillance. Sodexo managers have mandated speedups so steep as to make it impossible for workers to properly sanitize hospital rooms, making the hospital unsafe for workers and patients alike.
Overall, subcontracting has reduced the quality of services provided at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, made jobs insecure and working environments abusive for workers. Please sign this petition to halt the recent surge of subcontracting and demand security for the jobs of the remaining direct hires.
In light of the above facts we demand that Stanford Hospital and Clinics:
- - Ensure that current housekeeping assistants retain their jobs at the School of Medicine beyond October of 2013
- - Ensure full-time, regular jobs for the workers in the “float pool”
- - Return all former Clark Center workers currently employed by UGL to their previous pay and benefit levels
- - Provide full-time jobs for all former Clark Center workers
- - Cease any new contracts with UGL and Flagship, end all existing contracts, and hire all housekeeping assistants at SHC directly
- - End the contract with Sodexo and hire all SHC managers directly