Chicago, IL—Today at City Hall, Aldermen Ricardo Muñoz, Rey Colón and Sandi Jackson were joined by SEIU Local 1 and airport security officers to announce a plan to create good jobs and provide quality services for Chicago. Alderman Muñoz introduced the Responsible Contractor Resolution, backed by several other aldermen, at the February 9th City Council meeting.
“Private companies are taking advantage of Chicagoans,” Muñoz said. “With a bid process that prioritizes the lowest cost, irresponsible contractors are cheating and lying to win contracts. A Responsible Contractor resolution shows that the City of Chicago is serious about hiring ethical and law-abiding contractors that provide quality services and good jobs.”
Currently, city contracts are awarded to companies that provide the lowest bid. This leads to irresponsible companies slashing wages and benefits and cutting corners on services in order to win contracts. Employees are then forced to rely on public safety net programs like Medicare, thereby passing the burden of cost to the taxpayers while the company profits from the city contract.
Tom Balanoff, President of SEIU Local 1, cited Universal Security as an example of a contractor that is profiting off the broken system. Universal Security provides security services at O’Hare and Midway airports. However, the company has been charged with illegally spying on their employees who wanted to form a union. Universal is also being sued by current and former employees for allegedly failing to pay their full wages.
The Responsible Contractor resolution is the first step in making sure that companies that do business with the City of Chicago use taxpayer dollars responsibly, provide fair wages and benefits to workers, and provide quality services to Chicagoans.
Service Employees International Union Local 1 unites more than 50,000 workers throughout Mid-America and in Texas. SEIU food service workers, security officers, and janitors are working with community leaders to advocate for the quality services the public deserves and the good jobs our communities need.