Hartford Elected Officials and Community Leaders Declare Support for Janitors’ Contract Campaign

Hartford Elected Officials and Community Leaders Declare Support for Janitors’ Contract Campaign

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Frank Soults, 860-471-5692

HARTFORD, Conn. — On Wednesday afternoon, about a dozen elected officials joined with faith, labor and community leaders in downtown Hartford to unveil “A Janitors’ Bill of Rights,” a statement of public support for fair wages and decent working conditions for the Connecticut janitors now negotiating a new contract.

Over 3,500 janitors, including some 2,100 janitors in Hartford County, are now bargaining for a new agreement, before the current four-year contract expires at midnight on December 31. Well over 100 Connecticut elected officials and government officials have signed onto the Janitors Bill of Rights, from the Lieutenant Governor Wyman to major city mayors, from U.S. Senators to local city alders.

Unveiled by 32BJ member Mara Morales, the Bill of Rights declares the support of five fundamental rights in the new contract, including a living wage and access to affordable health care.

“This fight for a new contract is very important for cleaners like me and my co-workers,” Ms. Morales told the crowd. “We all know that the cost of living is very high. We all need family medical coverage, since we can’t afford paying for our own insurance.”

Elected officials, union leaders, and clergy all expressed support for these basic needs.

“I’m proud to stand with 32BJ and support your contract campaign by signing the Janitors’ Bill of Rights,” said Hartford Mayor-Elect Luke Bronin to the standing-room only crowd inside the Old State House.

“By winning a good contract, you can help us get out of this mess that we’re in with a sinking middle class in America,” said State Representative Matt Ritter of Hartford. “By raising the bar, you help others rise, too.”

“The biggest corporations in America used to care for their workers,” said Lori Pelletier, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, the state’s largest labor union. “Thank you for the strength you show for others to better speak up to corporations, or to legislators. The fight you have is the fight we have!”

The event was also attended by Councilman Larry Deutsch, New Haven Alder Darryl Brackeen, , Hartford Councilwoman-Elect Wildaliz Bermudez, Hartford Councilman-Elect Thomas TJ Clarke, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, and State Representatives Brandon McGee, Edwin Vargas, and Matthew Lesser. Several other legislators had to cancel their appearance due to legislative business, including House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, who sent a statement.

“Working men and women in Connecticut have often seen prices go up but not their wages,” Rep. Aresimowicz said. “A strong new contract for these janitors would help them pursue the American Dream for themselves and their families. I stand behind their rights to make a living, have access to affordable healthcare, and perform their jobs under decent working conditions.”

“Brothers and sisters, we’re not going to be begging; we’re going to be demanding what’s right — our own fair share for the hard work that we do,” said 32BJ Connecticut District Leader Juan Hernandez.

“All across America, the basic principles of the bill of rights are either out of reach or threatened by rising costs,” said Pastor AJ Johnson, of Urban Hope Refugee Church, who acted as MC for the event. “But in Connecticut, we have a proud tradition of supporting working men and women — and this event proves it.”

A JANITORS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
For Our Families, For Our Futures, For Our Communities

We, the undersigned Connecticut community leaders and elected officials, urge local building owners to respect the rights of commercial office cleaners to pursue the American Dream for their families through a multi-year contract that honors the following fundamental rights:

• A living wage that sustains our families and our communities;
• Access to affordable healthcare for ourselves and our families;
• Benefits that show respect for our basic human needs such as paid sick days;
• Appropriate hours, training, adequate equipment, and the necessary resources to provide a quality service;
• A workplace free of harassment and discrimination.

Hon. Nancy Wyman
Conn Lt. Governor

Hon. Denise Merrill
Conn. Secretary of State

Hon. Andres Ayala
Conn. Commissioner of DMV

Luke Bronin
Mayor-Elect City of Hartford

Hon. Dan Drew
Mayor City of Middletown

Hon. David Martin
Mayor of Stamford

Hon. Pedro Segarra
Mayor City of Hartford

U.S. Senators
Hon. Richard Blumenthal (CT)
Hon. Christopher Coons (DE)
Hon. Christopher Murphy (CT)

REPRESENTATIVES TO THE U.S. CONGRESS
Hon. Rosa DeLauro
HH

Hon. Jim Himes
Hon. John Larson

CONNECTICUT STATE SENATORS
Hon. Martin Looney, Senate President Pro Tempore
Hon. Eric D. Coleman
Hon. Mae Flexer
Hon. John W. Fonfara
Hon. Terry Gerratana
Hon. Edwin A. Gomes
Hon. Marilyn Moore
Hon. Gary A. Winfield

CONNECTICUT STATE REPRESENTATIVES
Hon. James Albis
Hon. Angel Arce
Hon. David Arconti
Hon. Joe Aresimowicz
Hon. Juan R. Candelaria
Hon. Victor Cuevas
Hon. Minnie Gonzalez
Hon. Gregory Haddad
Hon. John “Jack” F. Hennessy
Hon. Roland Lemar
Hon. Matthew Lesser
Hon. Rick Lopes
Hon. Douglas McCrory
Hon. Brandon L. McGee
Hon. Russell A. Morin
Hon. Philip J. Miller
Hon. Bruce V. Morris
Hon. Robyn Porter
Hon. Emmett D. Riley
Hon. Matthew Ritter
Hon. Christopher Rosario
Hon. Kim Rose
Hon. Kevin Ryan
Hon. Robert Sanchez
Hon. Ezequiel Santiago
Hon. Hilda E. Santiago
Hon. Sean Scanlon
Hon. Caroline Simmons
Hon. Peter A. Tercyak
Hon. William Tong
Hon. Toni Walker

HARTFORD CITY COUNCIL
Councilwoman-Elect Wildaliz Bermudez
Councilman-Elect Thomas TJ Clarke
Councilman Larry Deutsch
Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings
Councilwoman-Elect rJo Winch

NEW HAVEN BOARD OF ALDERS
Hon. Darryl Brackeen
Hon. Delphine Clyburn
Hon. Frank Douglas
Hon. Evette Hamilton
Hon. Adam Marchand
Hon. Jeanette Morrison

STAMFORD BOARD OF REPRESENTATIVES
Hon. Anabel D. Figueroa

CONNNECTICUT COMMUNITY ALLIES

AFSCME Council 4
AFT Connecticut
American Postal Workers Union
Attorney At Law LLC
Brazilian Worker Center
City of New Haven/Mayor’s office
Council 400-CSEA/SEIU Local 2001
CSEA/Local 2001
CT AFL-CIO
CT Alliance for Retired Americans
CT Citizen Action Group
CT Immigrant Rights Alliance
CT Students for A Dream
District 1199/SEIU Healthcare
Dominican Sisters of Our lady of Bridgeport
Global Health Systems Consultants LLC
Greater Hartford Central Labor Council
Hartford Federation of Paraprofessionals 2221
Harford Rising
Hill Central School
Hispanic Advisory Council of Greater Stamford
Hispanic Federation
IBEW
Junta for Progressive Action
Latino Advocacy Foundation of Fairfield County
Local Lodge 743 IAMAW
Lupi Inc
Make the Road
Metal Trades Council
New England Regional COuncil of Carpenters
New Haven Legal Assistance Association Inc.
New Haven People’s Center
New Haven Workers Association
People’s World
Rehoboth Church of God
SEIU CT State Council
SEIU Local 511/CEUI
Teamsters Local 677
The Coalition of Immigrant Residents in Solidarity/CRISOL
The Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges-the 4Cs
The New Victory Corp
UAW Local 1981
Unidad Latino en Accion/ULA
United Action of CT
United Auto Workers
University of Bridgeport
University of Connecticut
Urban Hope Refuge Church
Professor Mike Wishnie, Yale Law School

With more than 145,000 members in 11 states and Washington DC, including 4,000 members in Connecticut, 32BJ is the largest building service workers union in the country.

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