Janitors from the Miami Tower protested earlier this month against unfair working conditions and harassment they say they have had to face for months throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Walk-outs and marches took place on February 9 and 11 in response to "unsafe working conditions and intimidation and retaliation over organizing efforts," an event description read.
According to the group of protesters, Miami Tower's cleaning contractor, SFM Services, was recently fined over $10,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after workers filed a complaint about the use of noxious chemical spray to disinfect the building while janitors were still inside.
The group also alleges that another cleaning contractor, Kleene & Greene, unfairly fired a Miami Tower janitor for taking four days off to care for her sick father.
Additionally, "SFM janitors at the Miami Tower have been complaining of inadequate PPE, lack of COVID-related training or how to handle hazardous chemicals, as well as the company's previous refusal to provide onsite or nearby parking."
The group said that one of their cleaners, Elsa Romero, was attacked last week by a man who threatened her with a traffic cone and ultimately made her fall on the floor and hit her head as she attempted to walk from work back to her car.
Video captured the incident, and the protesters said that after the attack took place, the company began to offer its janitors parking spots for $50 a month.
"The Miami Tower building is owned by Sumitomo Corporation, one of the wealthiest companies in the world, and a global force in mining, energy, and real estate," the protest group said.
"SFM janitors that clean the luxury office tower have no health insurance or paid sick days, even while working through a deadly pandemic, and earn as little as $9 an hour."
The janitors allege that their contractors, SFM and Kleene & Greene, have responded with threats, retaliation and firing of union activists.