Oberlin's low-paying cleaning conglomerate: unsafe and unsavory
Oberlin is firing its dedicated cleaning staff and bring in an outside company to do this important work for less money.
The company is Scioto Services, part of Marsden Services, a $290 million cleaning conglomerate with 25 different brands and 10,000 employees, operating in 46 states. Based in Minnesota, Marsden is owned by the Rauenhorsts, one of Minnesota’s richest families.
Scioto, its parent company Marsden, and the Rauenhorsts have a troubling record:
Scioto pays well below the living wage in Lorain County.
- Scioto is advertising jobs at Oberlin paying $15-$18 an hour.
- A single parent working 40 hours a week with one child in Lorain County needs to make $23.48 an hour to cover basics including food, clothing, housing, health care, and transportation.
Safety and health is a major concern, since Oberlin’s cleaners will be cleaning buildings housing students from all over the country during a pandemic. Unfortunately, Scioto and other Marsden companies have a record of endangering workers.
- Scioto was fined $4,900 in 2016 for failing to provide workers with information on dangerous chemicals.
- Marsden was fined in 2018 for a violation that resulted in a worker losing a finger while operating a trash compactor in Los Angeles.
- Marsden and another of its subsidiaries were fined for failing to provide adequate eye and face protection in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Scioto owners settle lawsuits charging fraud and unpaid workers. The Rauenhorsts have paid tens of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits charging them with fraud for siphoning money from their businesses into their personal pockets.
- According to one court filing, the Rauenhorsts “packed up the hundreds of millions of dollars they had paid themselves and moved on, leaving hundreds of lenders, employees, and blue collar creditors with nothing but shattered trust, broken dreams, and bags full of empty promises.”
- Another suit similarly charged that the Rauenhorsts’ actions meant their company was “unable to pay drywallers, landscapers, painters and concrete companies that had worked on” the family’s developments.