Northern Virginia

Nearly 4,000 commercial building workers in Northern Virginia are represented by 32BJ. 32BJ commercial members clean more than 400 Northern Virginia buildings, including all Crystal City office buildings, the USA Today building and Tyson’s Corner Center which contains some of area’s most upscale shops such as Tiffany & Co. The current contract 32BJ contract covering commercial office buildings expires at 12:01AM on October 16, 2011.

With more than 120,000 members, over 15,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.

 
 

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 .

###

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.

 

# # #

 

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.

Media Advisory: Council Member Graham to Rally with Cleaning Workers as Contract Expiration and Strike Threat Loom

32BJ of the SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Julie Karant:                646-584-9001

Eugenio H. Villasante: 212-539-2940

 

COUNCIL MEMBER GRAHAM TO RALLY WITH CLEANING WORKERS

AS CONTRACT EXPIRATION AND STRIKE THREAT LOOM  

Council Presidents from DC Region and Baltimore Support Fair Contract for 12,000 Office Cleaners 

Washington, DC – DC Council Member Jim Graham will join a rally on Wednesday with hundreds of 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 12:01 AM on October 16th.  Graham is among several dozen elected officials and community leaders 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.

WHAT:          March and rally with hundreds of cleaning workers

 

WHO:             DC City Councilmember Jim Graham

CASA de MD Executive Director, Gustavo Torres

Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO President Jos Williams

32BJ SEIU President, Mike Fishman and Capital Area Director, Jaime Contreras

*Interviews can be arranged prior to event 

 

 

WHEN:          Wednesday, October 12, 2011

4:30 PM

WHERE:        Farragut Square Park – 17th and K streets

Washington, DC

 

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.

###

Video: 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

DC Area Leaders Sign Pledge to Support Good Jobs

Download the PDF of the Good Jobs Pledge

PLEDGE OF SUPPORT The people of our city need good jobs that pay a decent wage and provide secure benefits. Families have bills to pay, kids to raise and the future to plan for. Good jobs are essential to families, but also to the health of our communities.

12,000 office building cleaners in our area are negotiating a new contract now. I stand with them and their union, 32BJ SEIU, in theirefforts to win an agreement that includes a fair pay raise, fair workload standards and more full-time jobs with benefits.

The commercial cleaning business in our area is mostly part-time. That means people with jobs of#en remain below the poverty level and families and communities struggle needlessly. Yet the commercial real estate industry in Washington, D.C. is healthy and growing: It can afford to support good jobs.

According to experts in the field, D.C. will be “among the top office markets in the country this year.” Economists expect a steady increase in office employment in the city, growing demand for office space, rising rents and shrinking vacancy rates.

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. Join me in supporting this effort. It’s what our city needs – and our conscience demands.

  • Eleanor Holmes Norton, US Congresswoman (DC)
  • Gerry Connolly, US Congressman (VA-11th District)
  • Valerie Ervin, Montgomery County Council President
  • Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County Council
  • Kwame Brown, Chairman, DC City Council
  • Jack Young, Baltimore City Council President
  • Jim Graham, DC City Council Ward 1
  • Michael Brown, DC City Council At-Large
  • Vincent Orange, DC City Council At-Large
  • Eric Olson, PG County Council, Vice Chair
  • Nancy Navarro, Montgomery County Council, District 4
  • Hans Reimer, Montgomery County Council, At-Large
  • Chap Petersen, Senator, Virginia 34th District
  • Adam Ebbin, Virginia House of Delegates, 49th District
  • Mary Margaret Whipple, Senator, Virginia 31st District
  • Dave Marsden, Senator, Virginia 37th District
  • George Barker, Senator, Virginia 39th District
  • Walter Tejada, Arlington County Board
  • Jo Ann Benson, Senator, Maryland District 24
  • Bill Frick, Delegate, Maryland District 16
  • Tom Hucker, Delegate, Maryland District 20
  • Veronica Turner, Delegate, Maryland District 26
  • Victor Ramirez, Senator, Maryland District 47
  • Ana Sol Gutierrez, Delegate, Maryland District 18
  • Bill Ferguson, Senator, Maryland District 46
  • Roger Manno, Senator, Maryland District 19
  • Nick Mosby, Baltimore City Council Democratic Nominee, 7th District
  • Mary Pat Clarke, Baltimore City Council, District 14

Labor and Community

  • DC Metro Central Labor Council
  • Virginia AFL-CIO
  • Northern Virginia Labor Federation
  • DC Jobs with Justice
  • Georgetown Solidarity Committee
  • Thomas Blanton, Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Raquel Guerricagoitia, CARECEN
  • Katrina Dizon, APALA-DC
  • Colaition of Black Trade Unions
  • Jacob Feinspan, Executive Director, Jews United for Justice
  • Jana Meyer, Director of Social Justice Ministries, Foundry
  • United Methodist Church
  • Father Vidal Rivas, St. Mathew’s Episcopal Church/St. Michael and All
  • Angles Episcopal Church
  • Rabbi Robert Saks, Congregation Bet Mishpachah
  • Jean-Louis Peta Ikambana, American Friends Service Committee – DC Peace
  • and Economic Justice Program
  • Barbara Kavanagh, DC Employment Justice Center
  • SEIU Local 1199
  • SEIU Local 500
  • SEIU Local 722

Video: Rally for Good Jobs in Philadelphia

Check out this video from the rally in Philadelphia last week (09/28/2011).

Speakers include:

Mike Fishman
President 32BJ SEIU
Valarie Long
Vice President 32BJ SEIU
Juanita Acree
32BJ SEIU Member – Philadelphia
Wayne MacManiman
32BJ SEIU Mid-Atlantic District Director
Cheryl Adams
32BJ SEIU Member – Philadelphia
Rosa Cox
32BJ SEIU Member – New York
Carlos Ramos
32BJ SEIU Member – New Jersey
Frederick R. Deas
32BJ SEIU Member – Philadelphia
Jose Regalado
32BJ SEIU Member – New Jersey
Rodrigo Mendez
32BJ SEIU Member – New York
Jacinto Quinonez
32BJ SEIU Member – New Jersey
Patricia Arcila-Cabrera
32BJ SEIU Staff – New Jersey
Jim Bird
32BJ SEIU Member – Pittsburgh
Sara Pastorelli
32BJ SEIU Member – Connecticut
Ana Rodriguez
32BJ SEIU Member – New York
Tony McIntosh
32BJ SEIU Member – New York
Safet Lukolic
32BJ SEIU Member – New York
Maria Ruiz
32BJ SEIU Member – New York
Clara Castillo
32BJ SEIU Member – Washington, DC
U.S. Rep. Bob Brady
Pennsylvania’s First District
Robert Tucker
32BJ SEIU Member – Philadelphia
Kevin Doyle
Executive Vice President 32BJ SEIU
Mary Kay Henry
SEIU International President
Hector Figueroa
Secretary Treasurer 32BJ SEIU

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.

Video: Member Interviews from Philly Rally

Philadelphia, PA (9/28/2011) – Thousands of property service workers from Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, the Washington, D.C.-area, Connecticut and Delaware, rallied downtown last week 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.

More interviews:

CAD Media Advisory: Region’s Elected Officials to Stand With Cleaning Workers, Urge Industry Leaders to Avoid a Strike

32BJ of the SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR 1:30 p.m., Monday, October 3, 2011

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Julie Karant:                646-584-9001

Eugenio H. Villasante 212 539 2940

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

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

Washington, DC – Elected officials from the District, Montgomery County, and Northern Virginia will today take 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 will make 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 will note that its venue – on Pennsylvania Avenue – has the fifth-highest office rent in North America.

WHAT:   Announcement of cleaning worker strike vote results

 

WHO:            DC City Councilmember Phil Mendelson

 

Montgomery County Council President, Valerie Ervin

VA State Senator, Mary Margaret Whipple

CASA de MD President, Padre Simón Bautista

Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO President Jos Williams

32BJ SEIU Capital Area Director, Jaime Contreras

 

*Interviews can be arranged prior to event

 

WHEN:   Monday, October 3, 2011

1:30 PM

WHERE:  20th & Pennsylvania Ave.

 

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.

###

A Message from Mike

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

      2,000 members of 32BJ marched in the streets of Philadelphia yesterday demanding fair contracts and good jobs. Click here to see photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32bj/sets/72157627782061910/ .

      We came from New York City and the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, the Washington, D.C.-area, Connecticut, Delaware and Western Pennsylvania to join with Philly members because we are one union united in one fight.

      The first wave in our campaign is Philadelphia, the D.C. area and Pittsburgh, where contracts expire in October. Our march told employers in every 32BJ city that we will stand together in these cities — and everywhere — until we win good, strong contracts for all 60,000 32BJ commercial office cleaners, janitors and building service workers.

      Mary Kay Henry, president of the SEIU, joined us yesterday in Philadelphia for the march. Our fight is part of a much larger campaign for all property service workers. Contracts expire for more than 150,000 SEIU janitors across the country in the next year. We all share the same goal: To defend good jobs that support our families, strengthen our communities and get our economy on track. SEIU members rallied in 22 cities yesterday to send this message nationwide.

      Yesterday was exciting — and important. I urge you to stay involved as we fight on. Our success depends on our solidarity, our resolve — and our action.

      Yours in solidarity,

      Mike Fishman, 32BJ President

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.

###

 

The Campaign Starts in Philadelphia: Rally Coverage

Rally today in Philadelphia! We are demonstrating for the good jobs we need to support our families, and which our nation needs to regain its footing after the worst economic crisis to hit in a generation. We are all standing together on the same day in this fight for good jobs because the contracts for some 150,000 building service workers, including 60,000 in 32BJ Districts, will soon be expiring from coast to coast.

UPDATE 10/04/2011: Video

UPDATE, 11:21 AM 9/28/2011:
Incoming photos on Flickr: Philadelphia Commercial Contract Rally 09.28.2011

To add your photos, email us: photos@seiu32bj.org!

Here are what some people are saying on Twitter:

@seiu: RT @elizaj: Goodbye, Philly! Awesome rally with @32BJ_SEIU members! One union! PHOTOS posted: http://t.co/r4Cv8xnU

@green4philly: At the SEIU 32BJ rally in Dilworth Plaza. http://t.co/BWBaotzB

@tanyalias: We got thousands in the street – hey corporations do your part! #j4j http://t.co/Deg1n0zD

You can follow rallies in Philly and 22 other cities on twitter: Search for #j4j (Justice 4 Janitors) on Twitter

Update, 5:49 PM: Press Coverage is starting to roll in

Media Advisory: Thousands of Cleaners from Philadelphia and Seven States to Rally for a Fair Contract

SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR 12 p.m., Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Eugenio H. Villasante 212 539 2940, 646 285 1087

Julie Karant:                646-584-9001

Maia Davis                  201-396-4444

THOUSANDS OF CLEANERS FROM PHILADELPHIA AND SEVEN STATES TO RALLY FOR A FAIR CONTRACT

 - Strike vote by Philadelphia members to follow rally with Rep. Brady -

 

Philadelphia, PA – Thousands of property service workers from Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, the Washington, D.C. region, Connecticut and Allegheny County will march and rally downtown on Wednesday to call for a fair contract. Among them will be some of the 2,600 building cleaners in Philadelphia fighting for a new contract with a fair wage increase, employer-paid family health care and retirement security. Contract negotiations are also underway for more than 12,000 commercial cleaners in the Wash., D.C. region and for 2,100 in Allegheny County. These negotiations mark the first round of a multistate campaign by 60,000 cleaners for new contracts that maintain and raise wage and benefit standards. Altogether, across the country, more than 150,000 property service workers in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are fighting for a fair contract from now through 2012. Following the rally, the Philadelphia-area cleaners will vote on whether to grant their bargaining committee the power to call a strike if necessary.

WHAT:                                     March, rally and strike vote

WHO:                                      Thousands of commercial office cleaners from Philadelphia, N.Y., N.J., Conn. Wash., D.C., Md., Del. Va., and Allegheny Co., Pa.

Congressman Bob Brady (D-Philadelphia)

SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry

City Council members

Philadelphia labor leaders and other community supporters

 

*Interviews can be arranged prior to rally with SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry

 

WHEN:                                   Wednesday, September 28, 2011

March at 12 PM

Rally and strike vote at 1 PM

 

WHERE:                                  Dilworth Plaza, City Hall

15th & JFK

 

Rallies and marches will also be held in 21 other cities across the country, with property service workers and their supporters calling for the good jobs that build strong communities.

 

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

# #

 

 

The Campaign for GOOD JOBS Starts in Philadelphia

UPDATE, 5:55 PM 9/28/2011:
More photos, press, and social media coverage of the rallies.

UPDATE, 11:21 AM 9/28/2011:
Incoming photos on Flickr: GOOD JOBS RALLY IN PHILLY To add your photos, email us: photos@seiu32bj.org!

WHAT: Rally for Good Jobs & Strong Communities
WHO: 2,000 32BJ members and supporters
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry
32BJ President Mike Fishman
Congressman Bob Brady
WHERE: Dilworth Park, Centre City, Philadelphia
WHEN: 12:00 Noon on Wednesday, Sept 28th

On September 28 in Philadelphia — and in 21 22 other cities across the country — thousands of SEIU members and our supporters will rally for the good jobs we need to support our families, and which our nation needs to regain its footing after the worst economic crisis to hit in a generation. We are all standing together on the same day in this fight for good jobs because the contracts for some 150,000 building service workers, including 60,000 in 32BJ Districts, will soon be expiring from coast to coast.

As we go to the negotiating table to fight for good jobs, we do so knowing that this fight is part of a larger campaign for the good jobs across our country needs.

Bargaining has begun in three major metro areas.

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Los Angeles

Orange County/Irvine

Sacramento

San Diego/La Jolla

San Francisco

San Jose

Denver

Chicago

Indianapolis

Boston

Detroit

Milwaukee

Kansas City

St Louis

Cincinnati

Cleveland

Columbus

Toledo

Portland

Philadelphia

Providence

Houston

Seattle

Update, 9/27/2011: 22 cities!

Northern Virginia Office Cleaners Rally for Good Jobs, Strong Communities ‪‪‬‬

4,000 Cleaners Demand Wage Increases from Region’s Strongest Office ‪Markets

Arlington, VA (9/20/2011) — Nearly one hundred mostly immigrant office cleaners rallied on Tuesday to ask for their chance to share in the American Dream. The workers, who earn as little as $9 an hour, called upon Northern Virginia’s commercial real estate industry to share the wealth that was created with the workers’ help, a move that would benefit the local economy as well as working families.

Photos on Flickr: Northern Virginia Office Cleaners Rally for Good Jobs, Strong Communities ‪‪‬‬

Cleaners Rally for Good Jobs in Bethesda

Bethesda, MD (9/15/2011) — About 50 members of 32BJ rallied outside the Metro station to support a fair contract. Negotiations began on September 8, 2011 for more than 1,500 contracted cleaners in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Photos on Flickr: Cleaners Rally for Good Jobs in Bethesda

From the Washington Hispanic, 9/16/2011:

“Jaime Contreras, Director del Área Capital de la 32BJ, expresa con indignación …, expresando que muchos de estos empleados han trabajado por anos par alas compañías, las cuales han crecido empresarialmente y para los empleados la carga de trabajo ha ido creciendo, … ‘estas son empresas multimillonarias de bienes raíces y empresas comerciales que pueden permitirse darles el aumento de sueldo a los trabajadores de limpieza’, agrega.”

Translation:

“Jaime Contreras, 32BJ Capital Area Director, expressed outrage …, saying that many of these employees have worked for years for these companies, whose business has grown and for employees their workload has grown, …, ‘These are multimillion dollar real estate companies and commercial enterprises who can afford to give pay raises to the janitors,’ he adds.”

16 SEPT 2011 | Continúana la espera de mejora salariales | (Washington Hispanic, Edición Impresa: Sección A / Imagen de la página 5A)

Bargaining Begins in Three Major Metro Areas

Washington DC | Philadelphia | Pittsburgh

32BJ has begun important negotiations for new contracts for our members in three districts: the Capital Area District, the Mid-Atlantic District and Western PA.

“A good, fair contract will provide working families with what they need, our economy with a boost and local governments with more tax revenue,” 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.”

Here’s what our members are saying about the contract negotiations:

“Our workload is growing, but not our wages.”
- Oscar
Washington, DC
“I’ve got two kids in college, a mortgage to pay and groceries, I’m struggling like many people here every day.”
- Angel
Philadephia, PA
“When companies pay better, people stay and do a better job. Everybody wins.”
- Robert
Pittsburgh, PA
  • In the Capital Area, negotiations began for 5,000 commercial cleaners in Washington, D.C., nearly 4,000 in Northern Virginia, over 1,500 in Montgomery County, MD and over 700 in Baltimore on September 8, 2011.
  • In Philadelphia, negotiations began concerning more than 2,600 property service workers on September 9, 2011.
  • In Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, negotiations began concerning more than 2,100 commercial office cleaners on September 13, 2011.

 

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.

# # #

 

 

Press Release: Contract Talks Open for 12,000 Cleaners in Washington, Northern Virginia, Montgomery County & Baltimore

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, September 8, 2011

CONTRACT TALKS OPEN FOR 12,000 CLEANERS IN WASHINGTON, NORTHERN VIRGINIA, MONTGOMERY COUNTY & BALTIMORE

– Union Proposals Focus on Increasing Wages as Industry Brings in Record-Setting Rents –

Washington, DC – Negotiations begin today for a new union contract covering 5,000 commercial cleaners in Washington, D.C., nearly 4,000 cleaners in Northern Virginia, over 1,500 cleaners in Montgomery County, Maryland and over 700 Baltimore cleaners begin today between 32BJ and cleaning contractors who serve the area’s real estate industry. 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.

“Washington’s multi-billion dollar real estate industry is among top in the nation and can afford to give hard-working office cleaners a raise,” said Jamie Contreras, 32BJ Capital Area Director. “Our proposals will ensure that these men and women get the wages they need to support their families and that employers and tenants get a more reliable work force.”

32BJ commercial cleaners 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.

“Hard-working office cleaners shouldn’t have to struggle to get by when the Washington real estate industry is outperforming other U.S. markets,” said Mike Fishman, 32BJ President. “We need to create good jobs that will help rebuild the middle class, restore our economy, and reclaim the American Dream for millions of families.”

“Our workload is growing, but not our wages,” said Oscar Zapata, a father of two who has worked as a UNICCO-employed cleaner in DC for 16 years but earns just $12.10 per hour. “We want to offer our families a better future; that’s hard to do with this salary.”

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.

# # #

 

Upcoming Actions in the Capital Area District

Join an upcoming action in your area!  Download leaflets below.

DC ACTION
Thursday, September 8
4:30pm – 5:30pm

Join fellow 32BJ members in supporting your elected bargaining team! Come out to observe the opening of contract talks! Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1001 14th Street, NW Washington, D.C. (Corner of 14th & K Streets)

Call the 32BJ office in D.C. for more information: 202-387-3211

Download Leaflet for DC Action, PDF

BALTIMORE ACTION
Saturday, September 10
10am – 1pm

Join fellow 32BJ members to help Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to victory! Meet at the 32BJ office, 7-9 Mulberry Street, Baltimore, MD. BBQ lunch for all volunteers after the canvass!

Call the 32BJ office for more information: 202-742-1630

Download Leaflet for Baltimore Action, PDF

MONTGOMERY COUNTY ACTIONS
Thursday, September 15
4:30 pm

In front of the Bethesda Metro Station in downtown Bethesda.

Thursday, September 22
4:30pm

In front of the Discovery Channel building in downtown Silver Spring (Corner of Georgia Ave and Colesville Rd).

Call 32BJ union representative Doris Depaz for more information: 202-742-1628

Download Leaflet for Montgomery Actions, PDF

NORTHERN VIRGINIA ACTION
Tuesday, September 20
4:30pm

Join fellow 32BJ members in front of Ballston Common Mall: 4238 Wilson Blvd in Arlington, VA (corner of Wilson Blvd & N. Stuart St.)

Call the 32BJ office in Virginia for more information: 703-845-7760

Download Leaflet for Northern Virginia Action, PDF

Justice for Janitors Day 2011

32BJ members honor the legacy of the Justice for Janitors campaign annually on June 15th. We remember the incredible organizing efforts of those janitors and cleaners who decided to join together and take action to demand respect and a better life. This year we had events June 11-17 in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

Press Coverage

Justice for Janitors in New York Metro:

Justice for Janitors in Connecticut:

Justice for Janitors in New Jersey:

Justice for Janitors in Washington, DC:

  • Jaime Contreras / SEIU Local 32BJ
    Noticias a las 11 WFDC (UNI) Washington DC 06/15/11 11:00-11:30 PM Length: 02:26
    Click here to download

Justice for Janitors in Western Pennsylvania:

  • SEIU Local 32BJ – Rally For Better Pay
    11 News at 5 WPXI (NBC) Pittsburgh 06/15/11 5-6 PM Length: 00:40 
    Click here to download

March for the Middle Class in New York City: