The following statement is attributable to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Montgomery County Executive Mark Elrich, Arlington County Board Member Katie Cristol, and Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott:
“32BJ members are the office cleaners and security officers, among others who are on the frontlines of the Coronavirus crisis, keeping buildings clean and safe for everyone. The work they do every day is invaluable and now more than ever, their hard work can literally save lives. These men and women are the unsung heroes of the Coronavirus pandemic and they can least afford to lose wages and benefits during this crisis.
At the same time that cleaners and security officers have stepped forward to do their jobs during this outbreak, they are now being threatened with layoffs and reductions. The metropolitan Washington area has the healthiest real estate market in the country and tenants continue to pay the highest rents in the country. During this temporary change, where tenants continue to pay rent, the owners and their contractors have a responsibility to their cleaners and officers. These men and women have performed their jobs admirably under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgency for these workers to maintain health care that enables them to see a doctor, a crucial public health necessity that prevents the spread of any illness. Building owners can and must ensure the well-being and health of workers and their families.”
32BJ SEIU Vice President Jaime Contreras added: “Building owners, who are trying to profit on the backs of workers already living paycheck during this time of crisis, is shameful and immoral.”
With more than 175,000 members in 11 states, including over 20,000 in the D.C. area and Baltimore, MD, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.