***** For Immediate Release *****
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As negotiations between janitors and cleaning companies draw to a close…
City Council members support janitors, call on Cincinnati businesses to stop passing their bills onto taxpayers
CINCINNATI| Janitors and City Councilors Cecil Thomas and P.G. Sittenfeld held a press conference today on the steps of City Hall to call on Cincinnati businesses to stand up for good jobs and do their part to alleviate rising poverty in Cincinnati. Yesterday was the last scheduled day of contract negotiations between janitors and cleaning contractors and the two parties have yet to come to an agreement.
One cleaning contractor, Compass, has stepped up and agreed to pay janitors a living wage, protect full time hours, and preserve access to affordable health care. Compass is employed by Proctor and Gamble at P&G’s downtown headquarters. Councilmembers Sittenfeld and Thomas organized the press conference to praise P&G for their leadership and to call on other Cincinnati building owners to support good jobs for janitors.
“As members of City Council, we believe that working people should have a decent wage that allows them to support their families,” said Thomas. “And whether you’re cleaning floors or you’re a CEO, you deserve to be treated with respect.”
Janitors and their allies hope that contract negotiations can be brought to a close soon with an agreement that supports good jobs for Cincinnati’s working families. Currently, Cincinnati’s poverty rate is a whopping 30.6% and rising. 48% of Cincinnati children live in poverty. Cleaning contractors are exacerbating these problems by paying low wages and asking taxpayers to foot the bill. Many Cincinnati janitors are forced to rely on public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid.
“As a janitor and a mother, I can tell you that my coworkers and I aren’t asking for a lot,” said Dina Smith, a janitor who cleans the Scripps building. “We just want to be able to raise our families in safety and without having to rely on public assistance.”