Members of our union, 32BJ SEIU, are standing together to protect good jobs with decent wages and benefits. When thousands of hard-working men and women win good jobs with decent wages and benefits, it’s a win for families, communities, employers, and the economy as a whole.
It’s through unions that workers across industry, geography, race, gender and national origin come together to speak in a united voice and change the balance of power back to real opportunity for all and get the economy back on track. Our fight for office cleaners up and down the East Coast is a fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.
Negotiations have begun for contracts covering 70,000 office building cleaners. Workers’ contracts in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia will expire between October and December 2015. Contracts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island will expire in September 2016.
Our goals for this contract campaign are straightforward: fair wage increases; good benefits; more full-time work; improved working conditions; strengthened union rights on the job; greater ability to organize non-union workers. In order to reach these goals we’ve started preparations earlier than ever. We’ve developed a unified message and a national campaign with other locals across the country. We’ve developed field plans and a strong unified member leadership structure. We’ve increased member leader responsibility and leadership opportunity, and we’re coordinating with other campaigns such as our airports campaign and the Fight for 15.
But our fight for good jobs is not just for the 70,000 members up and down the East Coast; close to 135,000 janitors from Los Angeles to Denver to Chicago to St. Louis will be out in the streets over the course of the next eighteen months. This is the largest private sector contract fight taking place in the country and will affect the lives of close to half a million men, women and children. We know winning strong contracts and having a strong union is how we build a strong economy.
And we never forget our non-union brothers and sisters: we represent them at the bargaining table too, fighting to raise standards across our industry. We also fight with them on streets, connecting our contract fight to organizing campaigns for contracted airport workers and fast food workers. We know that when workers come together – whether they are in a union yet or not – and fight together for dignity and respect, it’s good for everyone.
And so we are united across industry and geography to Raise America for all. Join us in the fight!