School Janitors Left in Limbo over Jobs

School Janitors Left in Limbo over Jobs

Hundreds of workers are out of a job, but there's one group that seems to be forgotten in the merger, and they're hoping to be rehired.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - It's a confusing and painful summer for hundreds of employees for the now non-existent Memphis City Schools. Hundreds of workers are out of a job, but there's one group that seems to be forgotten in the merger, and they're hoping to be rehired.

More than 600 union janitors still don't know what will happen next.

Gail Tyree is not optimistic on how many janitors will be rehired. "I wouldn't be surprised if it was less than a third."

Tyree with AFSCME Local 1733 represents hundreds of MCS custodial workers.

A private Ohio company, GCA, won the contract to out-source the work. But what has Tyree hot under the collar, she says GCA is "sub-contracting" or "sharing" the workload with another private company, Aramark.

That's the same company who was fighting to win the bid during all those school board meetings.

"I think part of it is because they didn't have the capacity to handle that much work so quickly. I think they knew it from the beginning," said Tyree. "What is so upsetting to me now is that everyone won in this except for the workers."

But according to Aramark that's not true. A spokesperson said Aramark is not sub-contracting with GCA.

Janitor Loraine Marr told Local 24 News in March, "If you take my job from me I can't support my kids or my grandchildren that are in the school system."

Tyree says some custodial workers have given up, others decided to retire, while the majority are still waiting for that phone call.

"It's actually put them in limbo all summer. I don't know if I should apply for a job, I don't know if I'm going to get this job, I would hate not to apply for the job," she said. "It's been a very confusing summer to say the least."

Custodial workers are going through the rehiring process now, but they won't know if the private company will hire them until august 5th - which is also the first day of school.

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