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Joined by Aldermen, Striking Chicago Window Washers to Descend Upon City Hall, a Landmark Building They Clean, as Fight for a Fair Three-Year Contract Continues
Aldermen in harnesses will stand in solidarity with window washers, holding squeegees and urging Corporate Cleaning Services CEO Neal Zucker to grant three-year contract with $25/hour wage
CHICAGO – As their ongoing strike for a fair contract continues into its third week, hundreds of SEIU Local 1 window washers will descend upon City Hall—a landmark building they clean—Wednesday morning with their families. They are expected to be joined by more than a dozen Chicago aldermen, including chairmen of the Black, Latino and Progressive Caucuses, to urge employers like Corporate Cleaning Services to offer fair compensation for their treacherous work.
Chicago window washers, whose contract expired June 30, have been on an industry-wide strike since July 2. They will not resume work until their employers, like Corporate Cleaning Services, return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair contract.
The window washers are continuing their fight for a strong new three-year contract that includes a $25/hour base wage and affordable health benefits for the dangerous work they do. They are calling on Corporate Cleaning Services CEO Neal Zucker to resume negotiations and bargain a fair contract.
Every day, Chicago window washers hang hundreds of feet in the air and put their lives on the line to clean prominent buildings like the Trump and Willis Towers and City Hall. But window washers are struggling to support their families on low wages and a healthcare policy that forces many to rely on public assistance.
WHAT: Hundreds of striking Chicago window washers will rally at City Hall with aldermen dressed in window washer gear
WHEN: Wednesday, July 18 at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Chicago City Hall, 121 N LaSalle St, outside
WHO: Hundreds of SEIU Local 1 window washers and their families, community allies and more than a dozen Chicago aldermen—including Black Caucus Chairman Roderick Sawyer (6th), Latino Caucus Chairman Gilbert Villegas (36th), Progressive Caucus Chairman Scott Waguespack (32nd). The following Chicago aldermen have pledged their support for window washers: Alds. Joe Moreno (1st), Pat Dowell (3rd), Sophia King (4th), Leslie Hairston (5th), Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), George Cardenas (12th), Marty Quinn (13th), Raymond Lopez (15th), Derrick Curtis (18th), Matthew O’Shea (19th), Howard Brookins Jr. (21st), Ricardo Muñoz (22nd), Silvana Tabares (23rd), Michael Scott Jr. (24th), Roberto Maldonado (26th), Chris Taliaferro (29th), Deb Mell (33rd), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Emma Mitts (37th), Nicholas Sposato (38th), Brendan Reilly (42nd), John Arena (45th), James Cappleman (46th), Ameya Pawar (47th), Harry Osterman (48th) and Debra Silverstein (50th)
VISUALS: Window washers in uniform, window washer families and aldermen wearing window washer gear rallying, chanting and holding signs
BACKGROUND: Window washing is an important and historic family industry in Chicago, yet many workers struggle to make ends meet on wages as low as the minimum wage cleaning the skyscrapers of billion-dollar corporations. Window washers cannot afford employer-provided healthcare, with many of their families forced to rely on public assistance just to have health coverage.
While billion-dollar buildings like Trump Tower enjoy massive tax breaks, the window washers who scale them are barely making ends meet. Meanwhile, in other markets like New York, window washers start at $21 and enjoy employer-provided healthcare, giving them the ability to support their families and communities. Chicago window washers deserve the same opportunity.
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Service Employees International Union Local 1 unites nearly 50,000 workers throughout the Midwest. SEIU janitors, security officers, food service workers, and others are working with community leaders to advocate for the quality services the public deserves and the good jobs our communities need.