10,000 Immigrant Janitors on East Coast Start Contract Talks



32BJ SEIU janitors, who maintain nearly all of the region’s commercial office buildings, began negotiations yesterday for a new union contract with the Washington Service Contractors Association. The current contract expires on October 15. Notably, hundreds of janitors in Loudoun County, VA will bargain their first-ever union contract with 32BJ SEIU. Nearly 134,000 commercial janitors nationwide are bargaining for their livelihoods as part of what will be the nation’s large private sector contract bargaining of the year. “The economic development around the commercial real estate boom means there is more than enough wealth to ensure these workers are provided their fair share of the profits they help create,” said 32BJ SEIU Vice President Jaime Contreras. “This contract will prove whether the region’s prosperity will ever trickle down to move low-wage workers into the middle class.” Cleaners — most of whom work part-time, forcing them to take multiple jobs and still often not getting employer-paid health care — will be looking to expand full time jobs with benefits during this bargaining. photo: SEIU32BJ janitors in Miami


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