PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA – More than 100 Philadelphia Suburban commercial office cleaners – members of 32BJ SEIU – will demonstrate Saturday, at noon at the Plymouth Meeting Mall demanding $15 an hour. The event follows Tuesday’s nationwide day of action where thousands united calling on lawmakers to raise the minimum wage. The janitors are in the midst of bargaining with the Building Operators Labor Relations Division (BOLR), the organization that represents building owners and cleaning contractors. The workers are demanding contractors, including PBS, the contractor who provides cleaning services at an office building inside the Plymouth Meeting Mall, give workers a living wage.
As the holiday season gets underway, many people are shopping for loved ones while 1,400 suburban commercial cleaners can barely afford the basics for their families. The majority of the workers are immigrants who came to this country seeking an opportunity to achieve the American Dream. On average, a full-time janitor earns $12.35 an hour. Inspired by fast food and other low-wage workers, they are now fighting for $15 to provide for their families and support their communities.
The janitors clean 170 office buildings and prominent billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies throughout Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Delaware counties. They work for prominent businesses like Johnson & Johnson, Merck U.S. Commercial Headquarters, GlaxoSmithKline, Brandywine Realty Trust, and the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant. The current 32BJ SEIU contract expires at 11:59 p.m. December 15. The janitors’ Center City counterparts—covered under a separate contract—just secured a four-year contract in October with good raises and benefits.
For the next 15 months, close to 135,000 SEIU commercial office cleaners across the nation will be negotiating contracts, 75,000 are 32BJ SEIU members along the East Coast.
WHAT: Suburban janitors demonstration for $15
WHO: Suburban janitors
WHERE: 500 Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting Mall (outside of Macys)
- Worker Interviews are available at 10:45 a.m. outside St. Patrick’s Church, 714 DeKalb Street, Norristown prior to boarding buses to Plymouth Meeting
WHEN: Saturday, November 14, 2015 12 p.m. (at Plymouth Meeting Mall)
With 145,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 22,000 in Pennsylvania, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.