Press Release: Building Service Workers Extend Talks 3 Days, Chance of Stike Remains

32BJ of the Service Employees International Union

For Immediate Release:

October 14, 2011

For More Information:

Eugenio H. Villasante: 212 539 2940
Julie Karant: 646-584-9001

BUILDING SERVICE WORKERS EXTEND TALKS 3 DAYS, CHANCE OF STRIKE REMAINS

– More than 2,600 Office Cleaners Could Walk Off Their Jobs if Agreement Not Reached by October 19th at 12:01 AM –

Philadelphia, PA –In a concerted effort to reach a fair agreement and avoid a strike that would inconvenience the city of Philadelphia the property service workers union, 32BJ and the Building Owners Labor Relations, Inc. (BOLR), are extending contract negotiations for 3 more days.

However, since the two sides remain far apart, the union will be holding strike prep meetings this Saturday on setting up picket lines at more than 100 buildings throughout Center City , including Liberty Place, the Comcast Center, and Commerce Square if an agreement is not reached by October 19th at 12:01AM.

“Nobody wants a strike, but we’re ready to do what it takes to get workers what they need,” said Wayne MacManiman, 32BJ Mid-Atlantic Director. “Working families need wages that keep pace with the city’s high cost of living.”

Negotiations for a new union contract covering more than 2,600 property service workers in Philadelphia began on September 9th between 32BJ and representatives of the real estate industry. 32BJ presented its contract proposals to leaders of Building Owners Labor Relations, Inc. (BOLR), an organization representing Philadelphia’s major commercial office building owners, managers, and cleaning companies such as ABM Industries, Inc., The Arthur Jackson Company, and Shellville Facility Services.

More than 60,000 property service workers from Hartford, Conn., to Virginia 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 7,000 in Philadelphia, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property services union in the country.

For more information, visit www.standwithbuildingworkers.org .

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Press Release: Property Service Workers Get Ready For A Possible Strike

32BJ of the Service Employees International Union

For Immediate Release:

October 14, 2011

For More Information:

Eugenio H. Villasante: 212 539 2940
Julie Karant: 646-584-9001

PROPERTY SERVICE WORKERS GET READY FOR A POSSIBLE STRIKE

– More than 2,600 Corporate Office Cleaners Could Walk Off Their Jobs if Agreement Not Reached by Midnight Saturday –

Philadelphia, PA – More than 2,600 property service workers who maintain corporate offices in Philadelphia, including Liberty Place, the Comcast Center, and Commerce Square, are moving closer to a possible walkout, with strike-planning meetings scheduled Saturday. Strike captains have meanwhile been trained to provide instruction on setting up picket lines at more than 100 buildings throughout Center City if an agreement is not reached by Saturday, October 15th at midnight.

“Nobody wants a strike, but we’re committed and ready to do what it takes to get workers what they need,” said Wayne MacManiman, 32BJ Mid-Atlantic Director. “Working families need wages that keep pace with the city’s high cost of living.”

Negotiations for a new union contract covering more than 2,600 property service workers in Philadelphia began on September 9th between 32BJ and representatives of the real estate industry. 32BJ presented its contract proposals to leaders of Building Owners Labor Relations, Inc. (BOLR), an organization representing Philadelphia’s major commercial office building owners, managers, and cleaning companies such as ABM Industries, Inc., The Arthur Jackson Company, and Shellville Facility Services.

“We offered realistic proposals to ensure hardworking men and women receive the wages critical to supporting their families and strengthening our economy,” MacManiman said. “The city’s multibillion dollar real estate industry can afford to give low-wage workers the raise they deserve, and ensure that tenants receive the professional service they want.”

Wages range from just over $12 per hour and up based on job duties. Workers receive paid holidays and after one year of service, paid vacation and personal days. The federal poverty line for a family of four in the United States is $22,350 annually.

The city’s downtown commercial office market is seeing stabilized rents and decreasing vacancies. Additionally, employment, rents, and construction are forecasted to increase.

More than 60,000 property service workers from Hartford, Conn., to Virginia 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 7,000 in Philadelphia, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property services union in the country.

For more information, visit www.standwithbuildingworkers.org .

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Press Release: Council Member Grahan Rallies With Cleaning Workers As Contract Expiration and Strike Threat Loom

32BJ of the Service Employees International Union

For Immediate Release:

October 12, 2011

For More Information:

Julie Karant: 646-584-9001
Eugenio H. Villasante: 212 539 2940

 

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.

For more information, visit www.standwithbuildingworkers.org .

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Press Release: Council Members Urge Industry Leaders to Avoid a Strike As Contract Expiration Date Looms

32BJ of the Service Employees International Union

For Immediate Release:

October 12, 2011

For More Information:

Eugenio H. Villasante: 212 539 2940
Julie Karant: 646-584-9001

 

COUNCIL MEMBERS URGE INDUSTRY LEADERS TO AVOID A STRIKE AS CONTRACT EXPIRATION DATE LOOMS

Philadelphia Council Members Pledge Support for Fair Contract for 2,600 Office Cleaners

Philadelphia, PA – Members of the Philadelphia City Council including Maria Quinonez and Curtis Jones joined community and labor allies in taking a stand today for nearly 2,600 of the Philadelphia office cleaners who run landmark Center City buildings such as Liberty Place, the Comcast Center and Commerce Square. The elected officials called on industry leaders to agree to a fair contract and avoid a strike that could hurt the city. Philadelphia’s office cleaners voted two weeks ago to authorize their union’s bargaining committee to call a strike, if necessary, when their contract expires at 12:01 AM on October 16th.

“As the real estate market appears to be rebounding, building owners, investors and those who work hard to maintain those buildings should be able to share in that prosperity,” said Councilwoman Maria Quinonez.

Councilwoman Quinonez spoke at a briefing on good jobs attended by hundreds of 32BJ SEIU members who clean prominent buildings in downtown Philadelphia.

Negotiations for a new union contract covering more than 2,600 property service workers in Philadelphia began on September 8th between 32BJ and representatives of the real estate industry. 32BJ has presented its contract proposals to leaders of Building Owners Labor Relations, Inc. (BOLR), an organization representing Philadelphia’s major commercial office building owners, managers, and cleaning companies such as ABM Industries, Inc., The Arthur Jackson Company, and Shellville Facility Services.

“The city’s multibillion-dollar real estate industry can afford to give low-wage workers the raise they deserve, and ensure that tenants receive the professional, high-quality service they want,” said Wayne MacManiman, 32BJ Mid-Atlantic Director said.

The city’s downtown commercial office market is seeing stabilized rents and decreasing vacancies. Additionally, employment, rents, and construction are forecasted to increase.

“A good, fair contract will provide working families with what they need, boost our economy, and generate much-needed tax revenue for local governments,” said Mike Fishman, 32BJ President. “Our campaign for good jobs is part of a national effort to rebuild the middle class, restore the economy, and reclaim the American Dream for millions of families.”

Wages for property service workers under the contract are $12 per hour and up based on job duties. Workers receive paid holidays and after one year of service get paid vacation and personal days. The federal poverty line for a family of four in the United States is $22,350 annually.

“I’ve got two kids in college, a mortgage to pay and groceries,” said Angel Castro , a cleaner and father of three working in Center City. “I’m struggling like many people here every day.”

Property service workers in Philadelphia 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 eight states, including 7,000 in Philadelphia, 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.

For more information, visit www.standwithbuildingworkers.org .

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Press Release: Hundreds of Office Cleaners Rally on Wall Street for Good Jobs

32BJ of the Service Employees International Union

For Immediate Release:

October 12, 2011

 

For More Information:

Kwame Patterson: 312-371-2485

Matt Nerzig: 212-539-2882

 

HUNDREDS OF OFFICE CLEANERS RALLY ON WALL STREET FOR GOOD JOBS

New York, NY—To spotlight the need for good jobs and the growing wealth gap between the ultra rich and working people, hundreds of office cleaners, along with union supporters and groups such as Occupy Wall Street marched and rallied today to the New York Stock Exchange.

“Thousands of hardworking men and women are rallying all over the country to demand some of the same things as Occupy Wall Street,” said Kevin Doyle Executive Vice President of 32BJ SEIU. “Working people need good jobs that provide fair wages and secure benefits so they can raise their families, send their kids to college, retire with some security, and get our economy moving.”

The march and rally coincided with the expiration this fall of contracts for more than 60,000 office cleaners from Hartford to Virginia– including some 25,000 men and women in New York City, whose contract expires on December 31, 2011.

In Philadelphia, the 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 12:01 a.m. on October 16, 2011.

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

“Our members are determined to protect their good jobs, which are critical to their families, their communities, and to the thousands of tenants who depend on these workers’ services,” Doyle said.

With more than 120,000 members, including 70,000 in New York, 32BJ is the largest private-sector union in the state.

 

For more information, visit www.standwithbuildingworkers.org .

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Press Release: 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.

 

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CAD Press Release: Region’s Elected Officials Stand with Cleaning Workers, Urge Industry Leaders to Avoid a Strike

Monday, October 3, 2011

REGION’S ELECTED OFFICIALS STAND WITH CLEANING WORKERS, URGE INDUSTRY LEADERS TO AVOID A STRIKE

– Elected Officials Take Their Stand as Office Cleaners Announce Authorization to Strike –

Washington, DC—Elected officials from the District, Montgomery County, and Northern Virginia 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. The public officials made their announcement days after the region’s cleaning workers voted to authorize their union’s bargaining committee to call a strike, if necessary. Speakers at today’s event noted that its venue – on Pennsylvania Avenue – has the fifth-highest office rent in North America.

“I urge building owners in the District to sign a fair contract for our city’s cleaners and avoid an unnecessary strike,” said DC Councilmember Phil Mendelson.

“Arlington’s strong commercial office market should create the kind of good jobs necessary to boost our economy and increase tax revenue for local governments,” said Virginia State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple. “I will support Virginia’s hard-working office cleaners if they have to strike to provide for their families.”

Last week, 32BJ rejected proposals from cleaning contractors for the region’s real estate industry that would: fail to make 1,000 part-time commercial cleaners full-time with health benefits, lower starting wages for newly hired cleaners in Washington and Northern Virginia, and reduce other benefits for all cleaners in the District.

“Paying cleaners family-sustaining wages and benefits would help ensure that employers and tenants get a more reliable work force,” said Montgomery County Council President, Valerie Ervin. “Nobody wants a strike, but I stand in solidarity with cleaners if that’s what it takes to keep good jobs that are the lifeblood of our communities.”

Negotiations began September 8th for a new union contract covering more than 12,000 cleaners in the region – 5,000 in Washington, D.C., nearly 4,000 in Northern Virginia, over 1,500 in Montgomery County, Md., and more than 700 in Baltimore.

“There’s no excuse for a multibillion dollar industry to deny the wages and benefits workers need to make ends meet,” 32BJ SEIU Capital Area Director, Jaime Contreras said.

Under the current contract, wages range from $9 per hour for 9,600 part-time cleaners to $12.60 per hour for 2,400 full-time cleaners. All of the cleaners receive up to seven sick days, paid vacation and holidays, life insurance, and employer-paid family benefits for prescription drugs, dental and vision benefits. Only full-time cleaners receive employer-paid health care. The industry’s proposal would eliminate two paid holidays for cleaners in the District, and lower starting wages for new cleaners in the District and Northern Virginia. It would also fail to meet 32BJ’s call to make 1,000 part-time cleaners full time with health benefits.

Commercial 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.

Press Release: Thousands of Property Service Workers Rally for Good Jobs

 

32BJ of SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Eugenio H. Villasante  646 285 1087

Julie Karant:                646-584-9001

Maia Davis                  201-396-4444

THOUSANDS OF PROPERTY SERVICE WORKERS RALLY FOR GOOD JOBS

-       Philadelphia Cleaners Vote to Authorize Strike -

-       Rep. Brady Joins Rally; Property Service Workers Rally in 21 Other Cities Across the Country -

Philadelphia, PA – Thousands of property service workers from Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, the Washington, D.C.-area, Connecticut and Delaware, rallied downtown today to call for a fair contract in Philadelphia. They were joined by Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) and President of the Service Employees International Union, Mary Kay Henry. Contract negotiations are underway for more than 2,600 building cleaners in Philadelphia, who are fighting for a fair wage increase and secure benefits.

Following the rally, the Philadelphia property service workers voted to give their bargaining committee the power to call for a strike, if necessary. A strike, if one occurs, could affect more than 100 buildings, including Liberty Tower, Comcast Center and Commerce Square. The current contract expires at 12:01 a.m. on October 16, 2011.

“Today’s strike vote shows we’re determined to keep our city a place that working families can afford to call home,” said Wayne MacManiman, Mid-Atlantic Director for 32BJ. “Our members are determined to protect their good jobs, which are critical to their families, their communities, and to the thousands of tenants who depend on these workers’ services.”

Negotiations began on September 8th between 32BJ, the city’s largest private-sector union, and leaders of Building Operators Labor Relations, Inc. (BOLR), an organization representing Philadelphia’s major commercial office building owners, managers, and cleaning companies.

“The real estate industry in Philadelphia surely has the money to keep the benefits that keep our children healthy,” said Angel Castro, a cleaner in Center City who has three children. “I’ve got two kids in college, a mortgage to pay, groceries to buy. I’m struggling like many people these days.”

Philadelphia and the Washington, D.C. area are the first of several cities where contract negotiations will occur this fall. Altogether, 60,000 commercial members from Northern Virginia to Connecticut and Philadelphia to Pittsburgh are united in a campaign to secure new contracts that protect good jobs.

“Our city, our state, and our country need for working people to get the fair pay and decent benefits they deserve,” Congressman Bob Brady (D-Pa.) said. “A win for commercial office cleaners in this contract fight will be a win for all of us.”

“At a time when American workers are under attack, 32BJ members are standing together for the good jobs our communities and our country needs,” said Mike Fishman, President of 32BJ, the nation’s largest union of property service workers.  “Not just here in Philadelphia, but in twenty two cities across the country today.”

“The 2,600 property service workers here in Philadelphia who are bargaining to keep good jobs alive are not in this fight alone,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “Across the country, more than 150,000 janitors over the next year will be sitting across the table from their employer—bargaining contracts to defend good jobs and rebuild the middle class.”

With more than 120,000 members in eight states, including 7,000 in Philadelphia, 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.

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Press Release: Cleaners and Security Officers Set Up Mock Medical Clinic Outside Insurer’s Building

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Julie Karant: 646-584-9001
Matt Nerzig: 212-539-2882
917-584-0787

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, September 15, 2011

CLEANERS AND SECURITY OFFICERS SET UP MOCK MEDICAL CLINIC OUTSIDE INSURER’S BUILDING

– Mock Clinic Spotlights that Workers at Insurer’s Building Lack Access to Affordable Care –

 

Pittsburgh, PA – The men and women who clean and secure the Pittsburgh headquarters of Western Pennsylvania Allegheny Healthcare Systems (WPAHS) engaged in street theater on Thursday to protest their lack of access to affordable health care and poverty-like wages. Cleaners, employed by Triangle Services, and security officers, employed by Cauley Security Services, conducted mock healthcare screenings and asked tenants of the office building to donate food. The closure of Isabella Street for the event added to the theater-like atmosphere.

“It’s become all too easy to say that in tough times working people must make sacrifices when the truth is it’s corporations like WPAHS that are in the position to make concessions,” said Reverend Ken Love of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network. “Ensuring that hard-working men and women have good jobs with decent pay and health care is essential to building strong communities and keeping a strong economy.”

Reverend Ken Love of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network joined the group outside after being part of a delegation that attempted to meet with company executives. The delegation wanted to urge WPAHS executives to make sure that cleaners and security officers at the building get decent pay and affordable health care. The actions on Thursday came two days after negotiations began for a new union contract for the more than 2,100 commercial office cleaners represented by 32BJ in Allegheny County. Earlier in the week, 32BJ met with and representatives for the county’s major commercial office building owners, managers, and cleaning companies such as ISS Facility Services, ABM Industries Inc., and St. Moritz Building Services. The four-year contract will expire at midnight on October 31, 2011.

“When companies pay better, people stay and do a better job. Everybody wins,” said Robert Mixen, a downtown cleaner and father of five.

Wages for cleaners in Allegheny County range from $9.60 an hour for part-time cleaners in the suburbs to $14.92 an hour for full-time cleaners in the City of Pittsburgh. Full-time workers receive employer contributions for family health insurance, while part-time workers receive employer-paid prescription drug coverage. Most are eligible to receive paid holidays, paid vacation, and personal days. Cauley Security Services pays its security officers as little as $8.50 an hour with no real benefits. 32BJ is working to raise industry standards improve conditions for security officers in Pittsburgh.

Economists anticipate that rents in the Pittsburgh Central Business District will increase up to 7% annually during the life of the next contract. Experts also indicate that a tightening office market in the Central Business District is beginning to swing the bargaining power from tenants towards landlords. The event drew enough attention from motorists and passersby that Isabella Street was closed as a safety precaution. in front of the building was closed to traffic for the event.

The 2,100 cleaning workers in Allegheny County 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, including 5,000 in Western Pennsylvania, 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.

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Press Release: Maryland Delegate Gutierrez Joins Montgomery County Office Cleaners at Rally for Good Jobs, Strong Communities

32BJ of  the SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

FOR INMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Julie Karant 646-584-9001, Eugenio H. Villasante: 646-285-1087

 

MARYLAND DELEGATE GUTIERREZ JOINS MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE CLEANERS AT RALLY FOR GOOD JOBS, STRONG COMMUNITIES

Nearly 100 Cleaners Demand Wage Increases as Office Market is Forecasted to Grow

 

Silver Spring, MD— Nearly one hundred mostly immigrant office cleaners will rally on Thursday to ask for their chance at sharing in the American Dream. The workers, who earn as little as $10.90 an hour, called upon Montgomery County’s commercial real estate industry to share the wealth created with the workers’ help which would in turn benefit local communities.

“Montgomery County’s office market is growing and can afford to provide hard-working cleaners a raise,” said Maryland Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez. “We need to create good jobs that will help rebuild the middle class, restore our economy, and reclaim the American Dream for working families.”

“The men and women who ensure our offices are clean and safe shouldn’t have to struggle to get,” said Jamie Contreras, 32BJ Capital Area Director. “By ensuring these men and women receive family-sustaining wages, we’re ensuring employers and tenants get a more reliable work force.”

Negotiations began earlier last week for a new union contract covering over 1,500 cleaners in Montgomery County Maryland, 5,000 commercial cleaners in Washington, D.C., nearly 4,000 cleaners in Northern Virginia, and over 700 in Baltimore. 32BJ, the union for the building workers, presented its contract proposals to representatives of major commercial cleaning companies in the region, including Red Coats, American Building Maintenance (ABM), and Building Maintenance Services.

32BJ commercial cleaners in the wider D.C. region earn wages ranging from $9 per hour ($9,360 annually) for part-time cleaners to $12.60 ($26,208 annually) for full-time cleaners. The federal poverty line for a family of four in the United States is $22,350 annually.

More than 60,000 commercial cleaners from Hartford, Conn. to Virginia 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.

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