DC Metro/Baltimore Office Cleaners Ratify New 4-Year Contract Protecting 12,000 Good Jobs

32BJ of the SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Julie Karant: 646-584-9001

Eugenio H. Villasante: 212-539-2940
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, October 24, 2011

 

DC-METRO/BALTIMORE OFFICE CLEANERS RATIFY NEW 4-YEAR CONTRACT PROTECTING 12,000 GOOD JOBS

Improved Wages will Help Boost Economy

Washington, DC – By a unanimous vote, the region’s commercial office cleaners have ratified a new four-year contract covering 12,000 workers that will provide an average yearly pay increase of 4% over the next four years. With just 24 hours before the contract was set to expire, the 32BJ Bargaining Committee reached the agreement on October 16th with the Washington service contractors association, an organization representing the area’s major commercial cleaning companies.

“These are the kind of good jobs that our communities and our country need to move more families into the middle class,” said Valarie Long, 32BJ Vice President. “This is an important victory for cleaners in the Washington- Baltimore area who are united with 32BJ members up and down the East Coast in a campaign for good jobs.”

“I feel very happy with this contract, it’s great for our families” said Jorge Catacora, a downtown DC office cleaner. “We have a just raise that will help pay the rent and rising cost of living.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.
The contract covers 5,000 commercial cleaners working in hundreds of commercial properties in Washington, D.C. such as Washington Square, International Square, Georgetown’s Washington Harbor and One Franklin Square.

NORTHERN VIRGINIA
The contract also covers nearly 4,000 cleaners who maintain high profile properties Northern Virginia, including the USA Today Building and office buildings in the Crystal City and Tyson’s Corner developments.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY
The contract covers over 1,500 cleaners at over 150 buildings in Montgomery County, including the Chevy Chase Bank Building, the Discovery Building and Rock Spring Office Park.

BALTIMORE
The contract covers over 700 cleaners at over 40 Baltimore buildings, including the Candler Building, Legg Mason Building and the Bank of America Building.

These commercial building cleaners in the Washington-area are among more than 60,000 from Hartford, Conn. to Virginia who are united in a campaign to secure new contracts that raise wage and benefit standards for hundreds of thousands of building service workers across the country.

With more than 120,000 members in nine states, including 16,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

# # #

Great week for 32BJ- first wave ends in victory!

Over 14,000 Philadelphia and Capital Area office building cleaners won new contracts this week that raise pay, keep health care secure, and improve protections against unfair workloads and cuts to hours of work.

But it’s not over, until it’s over for everybody!

Leaders of the real industry that make part of America’s richest 1% want to push back our pay, benefits and rights on the job.

We, the 99%, will not stand for anything less than the good jobs that our families and communities count on to realize the American Dream.

Our fight for fair contracts for office building cleaners continues through the rest of 2011.  Together we will win strong contracts that defend good jobs for all!

Details of Tentative Agreement for DC-Metro, Baltimore

Details of Tentative Agreement for DC-Metro, Baltimore

SEIU 32BJ Rally in support of expiring workers' contract negotiations. Baltimore MD Oct. 5, 2011 © Rick Reinhard 2011

The tentative 4-year contract includes:

  • 4% average yearly pay increase
  • 1 new paid holiday in
    • Baltimore
    • Montgomery County
    • Northern Virginia
  • To make standards more uniform throughout the area, employer-paid training and 1 new sick day in Northern Virginia
  • Employer recognition of office building cleaners’ union rights in:
    • Prince George’s County
    • northern Montgomery County
    • area airports
  • Better workload protections for building cleaners
  • Progress on creating more full-time jobs

DC-Metro, Baltimore Ratification Vote on Saturday

No strike in Baltimore, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland! A tentative agreement was reached. Ratification vote is this SATURDAY:

  • Baltimore at 10:00 AM (32BJ Office 7-9 Mulberry Street)
  • Silver Spring at 2:00 PM (Woodside United Methodist Church 8900 Georgia Avenue)
  • Washington, D.C. at 4:00 PM (St Stephens and the Incarnation, 1525 Newton Street NW)
  • Northern Virginia at 4:00 PM (Culmore United Methodist Church 5901 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church)

Read the Press Release about the Tentative Agreement

New Contract for DC-Metro/Baltimore Office Cleaners!

 

32BJ of the SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Julie Karant: 646-584-9001
Eugenio H. Villasante: 212-539-2940
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, October 16, 2011

NEW 4-YEAR CONTRACT FOR DC-METRO/BALTIMORE OFFICE CLEANERS PROTECTS 12,000 GOOD JOBS

Strike Averted Less Than 24 Hours before Expiration

Washington, DC – The 32BJ Bargaining Committee tonight announced tentative agreement on a four-year contract, subject to ratification, covering nearly 12,000 of the region’s office cleaners that provide wage increases. Over the next four years, cleaners will receive an average yearly pay increase of 4%.

“This is not just a win for working families and our communities, but it ensures tenants will receive professional service and gives our economy a much-needed boost,” said Jaime Contreras, 32BJ Capital Area Director.

32BJ reached the four-year agreement with the Washington Service Contractors Association, an organization representing the area’s major commercial cleaning companies, just 24 hours before the contract was set to expire. Union members must still ratify the tentative agreements.

“These are the kind of good jobs that our communities and our country need to move more families into the middle class,” said Valarie Long, 32BJ Vice President. “This is an important victory for cleaners in the Washington- Baltimore area who are united with 32BJ members up and down the East Coast in a campaign for good jobs.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.
The contract covers 5,000 commercial cleaners working in hundreds of commercial properties in Washington, D.C. such as Washington Square, International Square, Georgetown’s Washington Harbor and One Franklin Square.

NORTHERN VIRGINIA
The contract also covers nearly 4,000 cleaners who maintain high profile properties Northern Virginia, including the USA Today Building and office buildings in the Crystal City and Tyson’s Corner developments.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY
The contract covers over 1,500 cleaners at over 150 buildings in Montgomery County, including the Chevy Chase Bank Building, the Discovery Building and Rock Spring Office Park.

BALTIMORE
The contract covers over 700 cleaners at over 40 Baltimore buildings, including the Candler Building, Legg Mason Building and the Bank of America Building.

These commercial building cleaners in the Washington-area are among more than 60,000 from Hartford, Conn. to Virginia who are united in a campaign to secure new contracts that raise wage and benefit standards for hundreds of thousands of building service workers across the country.

With more than 120,000 members in nine states, including 16,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

# # #

Council Member Graham Rallies with Cleaning Workers as Contract Expiration and Strike Threat Loom

32BJ of the SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Julie Karant: 646-584-9001

Eugenio H. Villasante 212-539-2940

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL

4:30 PM, Wednesday, October 12, 2011

 

COUNCIL MEMBER GRAHAM RALLIES WITH CLEANING WORKERS AS CONTRACT EXPIRATION AND STRIKE THREAT LOOM 

Full DC City Council Supports Fair Contract for 12,000 Office Cleaners

Washington, DC – DC Council Member Jim Graham today joined a rally with cleaning workers from across the region who have authorized their union’s bargaining committee to call a strike, if necessary, when their contract expires at midnight on October 17th.  Graham is among several dozen elected officials, including every member of the DC City Council, who have signed a pledge to stand with nearly 12,000 of the region’s office cleaners in their efforts to win an agreement that includes a fair pay raise and more full-time jobs with benefits.

“I urge building owners and employers to sign a fair contract and avoid an unnecessary strike,” said Graham.

32BJ has extended the contract beyond its initial October 15th expiration to ensure that tenants in commercial office buildings and the public are not inconvenienced by a strike over the weekend, if one should occur. Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly; City and County Council Presidents from DC, Virginia, Baltimore, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County; and several clergy and community leaders are also among those who signed the pledge that is a centerpiece of an advertisement running online this week in the Washington Business Journal.

“Good jobs are essential to families, but also to the health of our communities,” the pledge reads. “Office cleaners’ efforts to win a contract that provides good jobs are part of a national effort to restore the economy and reclaim the American Dream for hardworking families. It’s what our city needs – and our conscience demands.”

Negotiations began September 8th between 32BJ and cleaning contractors for the region’s real estate industry for a new union contract covering more than 12,000 cleaners in the region. 32BJ has since rejected industry proposals that would provide only a 25-cent raise and would fail to make 1,000 part-time commercial cleaners full-time with health benefits.

Of the 12,000 cleaners, 5,000 are in Washington, D.C., nearly 4,000 in Northern Virginia, over 1,500 in Montgomery County, Md., and more than 700 in Baltimore. Their wages under the current contract range from $9 per hour for 9,600 part-time cleaners to $12.60 per hour for 2,400 full-time cleaners.

These commercial building cleaners in the Washington-area are among more than 60,000 from Hartford, Conn. to Virginia who are united in a campaign to secure new contracts that raise wage and benefit standards.

With more than 120,000 members in nine states, including 16,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

 

# # #

 

Today (Oct 12) in NYC, Philly and DC!

Wednesday October 12

These events coincides with the expiration this fall of contracts for more than 60,000 office cleaners from Hartford to Washington, DC.

New York City
2:00 PM – March Bowling Green to New York Stock Exchange 

Philadelphia, PA
3:30 PM – City Chambers and a rally will follow outside City Hall

Washington, DC
4:30 PM – Farragut Square Park (17th and K Streets)

In an effort to spotlight the need for good jobs and to restore fairness to the economy, hundreds of office cleaners, along with elected leaders, union supporters and groups such as the Occupy Wall Street protesters will march and rally Wednesday.

In Philadelphia, the current contract between 32BJ and the Building Owners Labor Relations, Inc. (BOLR), an organization representing Philadelphia’s major commercial office building owners, managers, and cleaning companies, expires at 12:01AM on October 16, 2011.

In the Washington, DC area, contracts covering 10,000 office building cleaners including in Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Northern Virginia and Baltimore expire at 12:01AM on October 16, 2011.

Tomorrow: Rallies in NYC, DC, and Philly

In an effort to spotlight the need for good jobs and to restore fairness to the economy, hundreds of office cleaners, along with elected leaders, union supporters and groups such as the Occupy Wall Street protesters will march and rally Wednesday.

Wednesday October 12

New York City
2:00 PM – March Bowling Green to New York Stock Exchange 

Philadelphia, PA
3:30 PM – City Chambers and a rally will follow outside City Hall

Washington, DC
4:30 PM – Farragut Square Park (17th and K Streets)

These events coincides with the expiration this fall of contracts for more than 60,000 office cleaners from Hartford to Washington, DC.

In Philadelphia, the current contract between 32BJ and the Building Owners Labor Relations, Inc. (BOLR), an organization representing Philadelphia’s major commercial office building owners, managers, and cleaning companies, expires at 12:01AM on October 16, 2011.

In the Washington, DC area, contracts covering 10,000 office building cleaners including in Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Northern Virginia and Baltimore expire at 12:01AM on October 16, 2011.

8 Days Left, Councilmember Stands with Cleaners

Our contract expires in 8 days in the Capital Area District!

This week, Montgomery County Council President, Valerie Ervin traveled to Washington, DC to support 32BJ members at this critical time in our fight to win a new agreement that defends good jobs.

Here’s the video from Montgomery County Cable News. Coverage begins at 7 minutes 20 seconds:

Baltimore Electeds Urge Leaders to Avoid Strike

Baltimore, MD – Baltimore City Councilman-elect Nick Mosby and Baltimore City Councilman Bill Cole today took a stand for nearly 12,000 of the region’s office cleaners, calling on industry leaders to agree to a fair contract for the workers and avoid a strike that could hurt the region. Just days ago, the region’s cleaning workers voted to authorize their union’s bargaining committee to call a strike, if necessary.

Councilmen Rally with Hundreds of Office Cleaners in Baltimore, MD 10.05.2011