On Saturday, March 15, janitors in Cincinnati ratified a new three-year contract that includes a wage increase and that protects access to affordable health care. In a city where CEO pay and corporate profits are up yet half of all children live in poverty, this new contract gives hope to thousands of low-wage workers.
“This helps our communities–the more you make, the more you can spend within the community. With the raise we won, we’ll worry less about bills and groceries, and our lives will be a little better.”
-Janitor Robert Richardson, ABM, 4th and Vine
Janitors clean the offices of the most profitable corporations in Cincinnati—including many Fortune 500s—but they are paid so little that many janitors qualify for public assistance. Cleaning contractors’ initial demands would have pushed janitors further into poverty by freezing wages for two years, and cutting hours and benefits. For more than a year, janitors and faith, community and elected leaders urged business leaders to do their part to protect much-needed good jobs—and they won.
Now with this new contract, janitors and their families can continue on the pathway out of poverty. The modest increase will help enable hundreds of families to make ends meet and everyone will reap the benefits of a stronger economy and a brighter future for our communities.