News Advisory: On International Women’s Day, Working Women in Chicago to Call on Corporations to Do More

Chicago janitors make $20k less than the cost of living while the companies whose buildings they keep clean make billion dollar profits


Nell McNamara, (206) 852-5934
Izabela Miltko, (708) 655-9681

CHICAGO –As unequal pay for equal work continues to plague women in Chicago and across the world, hundreds of Chicago janitors and supporters plan to rally on Thursday at the Chicago Board of Trade. With an annual wage that is $20,000 below the cost of living for a family, women janitors in Chicago are struggling to provide for their families. At the same time, the corporations whose offices these janitors clean are making record profits; the Chicago Board of Trade profited $1.8 billion in 2011. As they bargain together for better jobs, the hard working women of this city will call on the richest corporations to do their fair share and create good middle class jobs for Chicago.

International Women’s Day falls on the backdrop of the janitors’ contract negotiations this week, which will impact more than 13,000 janitors in SEIU Local 1. Those janitors—many of whom are women—are uniting to create a pathway out of poverty for their families and a better future for their children. SEIU Local 1’s janitorial contract expires on April 8.

Women in unions are better able to provide for their families and ensure a better future for their children. 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’s janitors are joining with working women across city 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.


International Women’s Day in Chicago


Thursday, March 8

3:30 p.m. Rally at Chicago Board of Trade

4 p.m. March ending in a rally at Willis Tower


Chicago Board of Trade, LaSalle & Jackson


Working Women, More than 1,000 SEIU Local 1 Janitors from Chicago, and Community Supporters


  • Posters and signs of strong female union and community members
  • Hundreds marching through downtown chanting about women workers’ progress
  • Hundreds waving banners,  flags and signs

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