After Four Weeks on Strike, Chicago Window Washers Ratify New Contract With Historic 27 Percent Wage Hike

Agreement with coalition of window washing companies guarantees annual raises, doubles life insurance policy

CHICAGO – After four weeks on strike, SEIU Local 1 window washers overwhelmingly ratified a new contract Friday

The agreement guarantees annual raises, brings window washers to a $26 base wage over the life of the five-year contract—representing a historic 27 percent wage hike—and doubles their life insurance from $50,000 to $100,000.

Chicago window washers, whose contract expired June 30, had been on an industry-wide strike since July 2 fighting for fair compensation for their treacherous work.

“We put our livelihood on the line and won the biggest wage increase for Chicago window washers in Local 1 history,” said window washer Cruz Guzman. “Higher wages and a better life insurance policy will safeguard my family and help us build a brighter future.”

“Our city’s brave window washers deserve nothing less than a base wage of $25 for the dangerous work they do,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “This historic victory for Chicago window washers demonstrates the power of collective bargaining and Local 1 members’ steadfast dedication to improving conditions for all working people, whether white, black or brown.”

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