Pittsburgh, PA – Negotiations for a new union contract covering more than 2,100 commercial office cleaners in Allegheny County will begin on Tuesday between 32BJ and representatives of the real estate industry. 32BJ presented its contract proposals to representatives for the County’s major commercial office building owners, managers, and cleaning companies such as ISS Facility Services, ABM Industries Inc., and St. Moritz Building Services.
“Our proposal would help create and protect good jobs that are essential to the economic well-being of our city,” said Gabe Morgan, 32BJ Pennsylvania State Director. “Ensuring men and women can support their families has the added benefit of helping to stimulate our local economy and rebuild our middle class.”
Wages for cleaners in Allegheny County range from $9.60 an hour for part-time cleaners in the suburbs to $14.92 an hour for full-time cleaners in the City of Pittsburgh. Full-time workers receive employer contributions for family health insurance, while part-time workers receive employer-paid prescription drug coverage. Most are eligible to receive paid holidays, paid vacation, and personal days.
Economists anticipate that rents in the Pittsburgh Central Business District will increase up to 7% annually during the life of the next contract. Experts also indicate that a tightening office market in the Central Business District is beginning to swing the bargaining power towards landlords.
“A good, fair contract will provide working families with what they need, our economy with a boost and local governments with more tax revenue,” said Mike Fishman, 32BJ President. “Our campaign for good jobs is part of a national effort to rebuild the middle class, restore the economy, and reclaim the American Dream for millions of families.”
More than 60,000 property service workers from Hartford, Conn., to Virginia are united in a campaign to secure new contracts that raise wage and benefit standards.
“When companies pay better, people stay and do a better job. Everybody wins,” said Robert Mixen, a downtown cleaner and father of five.
With more than 120,000 members, including 5,000 in Western Pennsylvania, 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.