Over 400 custodial workers in Detroit Public Schools to be laid off due to contract dispute

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A company that provides facility maintenance and custodial services for Detroit Public Schools (DPS) is laying off more than 400 workers because it says the district owes it more than $15 million in unpaid bills.

As required by the state, Sodexo filed a layoff notice with Michigan's Workforce Development Agency.

The notice states the company's contract with DPS is being terminated and 418 employees who work in DPS buildings will be laid off effective July 1.

The notice also states more than $6 million dollars of the unpaid bill amount is more than 90 days past due.

7 Action News received an email from Steven Wasko, a DPS spokesperson, Wednesday morning confirming there was a contract dispute with Sodexo.

Wasko said Sodexo did not fulfill its contract and "failed to adequately maintain clean and sanitary school facilities for the students at DPS."

Wasko also said the company failed to hire licensed and qualified personnel, which has resulted in not only lost school days, but also significant and costly damage to equipment.

The district does owe Sodexo money, Wasko said, but the exact amount is still being discussed.

DPS has maintained a contract with Sodexo since 2011.

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