For more information: Eugenio Villasante (646) 285-1087
HARTFORD, Conn. — On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., well over 100 workers and supporters gathered at 500 Enterprise Drive in Rocky Hill, outside Hartford, to rally in support of cleaners who were displaced from their jobs when the building owner, KS Partners, abruptly ended a cleaning contract spanning nearly 20 years. Speakers ranged from state representatives, to faith leaders, to labor leaders, and workers themselves.
The jobs at 500 Enterprise offered fair wages and benefits, allowing workers to build a decent life for their families. But the livelihoods of these long-time cleaners are now threatened due to the priority placed on increased corporate profits.
“It’s deplorable for KS Enterprises to throw these dedicated workers out without even the chance to reapply for their old jobs,” said Lori Pelletier, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Connecticut AFL-CIO. “Some of these workers have put in over fifteen years cleaning this office and now they are forced to hold food drives to put enough food on the table. The labor movement is proud to stand with these eleven displaced building cleaners as they continue to seek justice.”
Lindsay Farrell, Executive Director of Connecticut Working Families, strongly agreed. “It is disgusting that KS Partners is placing corporate profits over the workers who keep their building safe and clean. After years of hard work and reliable service, the livelihoods of these workers is threatened because of greed. It isn’t right, and we stand with the workers!”
“The message from KS Enterprises is: you show up year in, year out, you carry the load, you do a good job, and we pull the rug out from under all of you,” said Renae Reese, of the Connecticut Center for a New Economy. “It takes $20.98 an hour for a single person to get by without government assistance in Rocky Hill. If that person is supporting a couple of kids, it takes $39.20. So if KS Enterprises is cutting pay they are asking the taxpayers to subsidize their ‘Enterprises.’ By sticking together and fighting for better wages and benefits these janitors are fighting to keep our communities out of poverty. “
With more than 145,000 member in 11 states and Washington DC, including 4,000 members in Connecticut, 32BJ is the largest building service workers union in the country.