Janitors & Community Leaders to Rally for Good Jobs for the 99% and the Revival of the Middle Class

CHICAGO – As wealth disparity continues to rise in Chicago and across the country, thousands of janitors and community leaders plan to rally on Sunday at the janitors’ contract convention to call on the richest 1% to do their fair share and create good middle class jobs for Chicago. The convention will kick off the janitors’ contract negotiations, which begin in March and impact more than 13,000 janitors in SEIU Local 1.

With the third highest poverty rate and the highest rate of racial income disparity of any major city in the U.S., Chicago’s working families are working harder than ever to secure a better future that seems further out of reach every day. Bargaining a new union contract with fair wage increases will enable Chicago janitors to provide for their families, but that alone won’t restore balance to the economy. That’s why Chicago janitors are joining with workers across the city, with clergy and community leaders, and with the rest of the 99% to call on banks and corporate executives to do their part to fix our economy—to create good jobs, raise wages, and pay their fair share in taxes.

The rally will end with a march from the Chicago Theatre to Chase Bank.

WHAT:                                 Janitors’ Contract Convention, Rally and March

                                                   for Good Jobs for the 99%


WHEN:                                 Sunday, February 26th, 2012

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.—Rally with community supporters at Chicago Theatre

3:00 – 3:45 p.m.—March ending in a rally at Chase Bank at 21 S. Clark St.


WHERE:             Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago

WHO:                   More than 3,500 SEIU Local 1 Janitors from Chicago and

                                 dozens more from across the country

Community Supporters including Arise Chicago, Action Now, Jobs with Justice and Grassroots Collaborative.

Mary Kay Henry- President of SEIU International



  • Waving over 200 large bright yellow and purple flags, more than 3,500 Chicago janitors, supporters and their children will cheer and chant in the Chicago Theatre;
  • Thousands to march through downtown, passing banks that received taxpayer-funded bailout money, ending in a rally at Chase Bank (21 S. Clark St.)
  • Waving large banners and flags at Chase Bank, where janitors are losing their jobs despite Chase making $8.5 billion in profit last year.


BACKGROUND: For the first time ever, SEIU Local 1’s janitorial contracts in all 11 cities expire in the same year. These contracts impact the livelihood of 22,000 Local 1 members and their families.  Chicago-area janitors will be first to begin contract negotiations in March that will impact more than 13,000 janitors.  On Sunday, the janitors will kick off their campaign for a new contract to secure good jobs and help strengthen the economy for the 99%.

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