32BJ Members Back to Work at Hartford Courant

32BJ Members Back to Work at Hartford Courant

Hartford — The office cleaners displaced after the Hartford Courant hired non-union contractor Pressroom Cleaners went back to work on Saturday under a court order issued on December 12, 2012.

“Our members have gone through an incredible ordeal, having had their lives disrupted by unexpected and unmerited layoffs,” 32BJ Connecticut Area Leader Kurt Westby said. “The workers returned and it is a giant step toward the justice they deserve. Ultimately, the Hartford Courant made the right decision in calling back their former unionized cleaning contractor by rejecting poverty jobs and restoring the original good pay and benefits.”

Pressroom Cleaners had refused to hire the cleaners or bargain with 32BJ SEIU, the workers’ union, when the Courant hired Pressroom Cleaners as the new cleaning contractor in December 2011. After taking over, Pressroom slashed wages, eliminated benefits, and threatened to fire any workers who even talked to union representatives. The National Labor Relations Board obtained a preliminary injunction against Pressroom, requiring Pressroom to reinstate the 32BJ members and to restore the wages and benefits in effect when it took over the cleaning contract.

32BJ SEIU is the largest union of property service workers in the country, with more than 125,000 members in eight states and Washington, D.C., including 4,500 in Connecticut.

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