As executives from some of Ohio’s largest and most profitable banks gathered for their annual Economic Summit on Feb. 15—featuring a keynote address by Governor John Kasich—Columbus janitors and community activists held a mock wedding outside between Governor Kasich and “Corporate Greed.”
Two protestors dressed as a bride and groom professed their “vows” to each other by holding up placards with facts about the devastating effects the partnership between politicians and banks has had on Ohio communities. A crowd of about 20 protestors—including Columbus janitors, OSU students, and members of Occupy Columbus—participated in the mock ceremony.
Bobby Copley, who works as a janitor at Huntington Bank Plaza, says the janitors organized the protest to call attention to rising inequality. “I clean the offices of one of the richest banks in the state,” he says. “I live paycheck to paycheck but I still pay a higher percentage in taxes than these rich bank CEOs do. That’s not right.”
For Ohio janitors, today’s protest sets the stage for a showdown with bankers and other building owners over agreements that create good jobs, boost employment, and help restore balance to our economy. The Columbus janitors’ union contract expires in December. It would take a Columbus janitor more than 1,100 years to make what JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was paid in 2011.