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Labor Peace

Simon Property Group and Westfield Trust have reached an agreement with the Service Employees International Union that paves the way for 5,000 janitors at more than 370 malls to unionize. The deal requires that contractors Westfield and Simon work with must pay decent wages and provide health insurance. SEIU began targeting mall owners in May, launching a “Justice for Mall Workers” campaign. SEIU created a now disabled Web site that featured profiles of janitors describing their working conditions and plight in trying to survive on minimum wage. Most do not receive sick days or vacation time. Simon and Westfield will likely pass on the higher costs directly to their contractors. Neither employs janitors directly, instead opting to subcontract that work out to other companies. No other mall companies have announced similar agreements.

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