Meet Muniru Owe, affectionately known as Muni by his colleagues and friends at 32BJ. He’s a father, cleaner and brigader at 32BJ. His gentle voice and warm smile only tell half the story. He’s also a fighter and a leader.
Muni is originally from Lagos, Nigeria. He came to the United States in 1972. His first job was in a factory in New Jersey where he earned just $2 per hour. He used what little money he had to pay for college. Eventually he found a better paying job in another factory where he worked for 25 years. But when a new owner took over, Muni and the other workers lost their jobs.
In 2006, Muni began working as a cleaner with ABM at the Bank of America. This is where Muni honed his leadership skills. When the company rejected his request for a mere 25 cent raise, Muni contacted 32BJ and organized his colleagues to stand with him and fight. They asked him to be shop steward. Instead of 25 cents, the union helped the workers get a $3 per hour pay raise. For Muni, this was an eye opener and proof that when workers are united they can achieve their goals.
In recent years, Muni helped to organize security officers across the state. And he played key role in helping to mobilize cleaners in the 2015 Commercial Contract Campaign.
Muni, who has been married for more than three decades, has two grown children and three grandchildren. If you ask him why he fights he’ll tell you … “I like to see people get what they deserve… Raise America means you raise standards for all workers.”