Janitors Rally for Good Jobs for the 99% and the Revival of Cincinnati’s Middle Class

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 25th, 2012

Contact:  Laurie Couch, (847) 420-5108, couchl@seiu1.org

CINCINNATI — With their union contract set to expire at the beginning October, Cincinnati janitors rallied today at their contract convention to call on the richest 1% to do their fair share and create good middle class jobs for our city. The convention kicked off the janitors’ contract negotiations, which begin in September and impact more than 1,000 janitors across the city.

Despite being home to 10 Fortune 500 companies, Cincinnati’s poverty rate is steadily rising and the number of people in our city relying on public assistance programs is skyrocketing.  That’s why janitors and their allies are calling on CEOs and corporate executives to do their part to fix our economy—to create good jobs, raise wages, and pay their fair share in taxes.

“There’s all this wealth in our city but it’s not trickling down to our communities,” said Dina Smith, who works as a janitor at the Scripps Building. “The only way to make our neighborhoods safer and our communities healthier is to create good jobs and pay workers enough to support their families.”

Though Cincinnati janitors clean the corporate headquarters of profitable companies like Macy’s, Procter and Gamble, and Fifth Third Bank, the average Cincinnati janitor is paid just $18,000 a year—well below the cost of living for a family.

Today’s convention was an opportunity for Cincinnati janitors to discuss contract goals together, and to plan for the coming month. The janitors’ contract expires October 1st.

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SEIU Local 1 unites 50,000 property service workers in the central United States, including janitors, security officers, and food service workers.  Together we work to build strength for all working people, on the job and in our communities.

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