FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEIU Local 1 Janitors, Senator Jamilah Nasheed, and Allies Urge Governor Greitens: Clean Up Your Act, Ditch Dark Money, and Protect the $10 Minimum Wage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 15, 2017
CONTACT: Nick Desideri desiderin@seiu1.org 630-779-5510
Izabela Miltko-Ivkovich miltkoi@seiu1.org 708-655-9681

Amidst bipartisan calls for an investigation into Governor Greitens’ dark money network…

SEIU Local 1 Janitors, Senator Jamilah Nasheed, and Allies Urge Governor Greitens: Clean Up Your Act, Ditch Dark Money, and Protect the $10 Minimum Wage

Signing HB 1194 would rip $75.6 million from the paychecks of 42,000 St. Louis working people annually

ST. LOUIS– On Thursday, June 15, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 janitors, fast food workers and faith and community allies rallied outside City Hall to urge Governor Eric Greitens to buck the wishes of his dark money donors, protect St. Louis’ $10 minimum wage, and honor the voices of city voters. The governor, who has repeatedly refused to release information on the big-money special interests behind his campaign, has HB 1194 on his desk. If he does not veto the bill, Governor Greitens would cave to his donors, lower the city’s minimum wage from $10 to $7.70, and take an estimated $75.6 million out of the pockets of more than 42,000 St. Louis working families annually.

“When the St. Louis minimum wage went up, my life changed. Now I can pay the bills on time,” said SEIU Local 1 janitor Sierra Parker. “Governor Greitens needs to stand with the working families instead of his dark money donors. He doesn’t know what it’s like to walk in our shoes. Don’t take money out of our pockets.”

“HB 1194 is simply a bad bill,” said state Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis). “It is set to take money out of the pockets of working people. When a community wants to show initiative and lead on issues – like economic development and workers’ rights – the state legislature should get out of the way. The people of St. Louis have spoken; the state legislature should respect that. At the end of the day, this is a St. Louis issue decided by the people of St. Louis for the city of St. Louis.”

“If the Governor does not veto the pre-emption bill, on August 28 I will have to go back to deciding which bills are going to get paid, and which ones are not,” said Show Me $15 fast food worker Bettie Douglas.  “No one should have to decide whether or not they are going to have their electricity cut off or not to have food on their table. Today, on the 27th anniversary of Justice for Janitors Day, fast food workers proudly stand with janitors in St. Louis and across the country.  We will stand together and we will fight back.”

Outside City Hall, Local 1 janitors, armed with brooms, buckets, and mops, “cleaned up” the mess left behind by low wages including crime, poverty, and struggling neighborhoods and took out the trash on politicians like Governor Greitens who stand with secretive billionaire donors instead of working people.  The action took place on the 27th anniversary of Justice for Janitors Day, on which hundreds of peacefully protesting janitors were arrested. St. Louis janitors honored that memory by fighting to protect St. Louis’ $10 minimum wage.

States and cities across the United States raise the minimum wage, and while janitors are moving the Midwest forward, politicians like Governor Greitens are doing their best to hold them back. On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of Missouri state senators called for an investigation into A New Missouri, a political action committee (PAC) linked to the governor, which is not required to release a list of donors. Local 1 janitors and allies called on Governor Greitens to listen to the voices of St. Louis voters instead of his secretive big-money donors and protect St. Louis’ $10 minimum wage.

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SEIU Local 1 represents more than 8,000 janitors, higher education faculty, public sector workers, school custodians and industrial workers across Missouri. Together, SEIU Local 1 members fight for an economy that works for all working families, not just the wealthy and well-connected. 

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