Washington, D.C. –32BJ SEIU today announced their strong endorsement of Ed Lazere for D.C. At-Large Council on behalf of over 175,000 property services workers, including over 20,000 essential frontline janitors, airport workers and security officers in the D.C. area. Lazere was integral to 32BJ’s Fight for $15 in D.C., a movement that’s helping workers in more than 190 cities, 33 countries and six continents.
“I admire 32BJ SEIU’s fights for justice and dignity for some of our hardest-working but lowest-paid workers, like security officers and janitors,” said Lazere. “I’m proud to have worked with them for a $15 minimum wage, better hours for office cleaners, and more. I am honored by their endorsement and look forward to continuing the fight for a fair economy with them.”
“Black and brown essential workers, who risk their lives and those of their families to keep District residents safe and our economy running need a champion like Ed Lazere who will always put them first,” said 32BJ SEIU Vice President, Jaime Contreras. “For over a decade, we have worked closely with Lazere as a trusted expert to ensure that local government protects and improves lives for low-wage workers and their families. With record-breaking income inequality, he’s far and away the most devoted and capable to ensure our city remains affordable and livable not just for the wealthy.”
32BJ members are exclusively black and immigrant essential workers who are most at risk of layoff and disproportionately sickened by the pandemic.
Lazere, who helped lead the 2016 effort to increase unemployment benefits for the first time in a decade, supports legislation that would expand benefits from the current 50% of salary up to $444 per week, and making them available to those with pre-existing conditions cannot return to work. He also pledged to mandate a requirement for employers to provide adequate PPE, strategic monitoring and compliance enforcement, and preventing employers from retaliating against workers who take steps to protect their health.
Finally, Lazere supports an expansion of paid sick day requirements to cover the full period of recovery from COVID as well as additional days for other illnesses that may occur during the year.
With more than 175,000 members in six states, including over 20,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area and Baltimore, MD, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.