As the Janitorial Campaign for $15 and ‘One Cleveland’ Continues to Gain Momentum…
Cleveland Janitors at ArcelorMittal Steel Mill Ratify Strong New Contract With a Path to $15/Hr; Contract to Pump $1.5 million into Cleveland’s Most Neglected Neighborhoods
Next Up: 500 Downtown Cleveland Janitors Set to Fight for $15
CLEVELAND – By an overwhelming margin, 50 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 janitors at the ArcelorMittal Steel Mill ratified a strong new union contract this afternoon. Under the agreement, janitors will see a 60% wage increase over the five-year contract, with every worker on a path to $15 by 2023.
The agreement comes on the heels of similar contracts won in recent weeks by janitors at the Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) and the Cleveland Orchestra.
“This contract showed us how much we can accomplish when we stand together for better wages and benefits,” said Rodney Shelton, a Local 1 janitor at the ArcelorMittal Steel Mill who negotiated the contract with his co-workers. “While we won our path to $15, the fight for One Cleveland continues with hundreds of our brothers and sisters who are fighting for their contract downtown.”
“We want to congratulate the Steel Mill janitors on their huge victory because their fight is our fight, and when working families do better, we all do better and win,” said Geraldine Brown, who works at the 55 Public Square building and is covered under the next janitorial union contract up for negotiations in Cleveland. “It is time for One Cleveland where everyone can benefit from good union jobs with at least a $15 wage, and we look forward to seeing that in our contract.”
Local 1 janitors at the ArcelorMittal Steel Mill, Tri-C and the Cleveland Orchestra are among 1,650 Local 1 janitors throughout Cleveland and the surrounding area who are coming together across different backgrounds this year to win new contracts and good jobs that will benefit their communities. Janitors hope the steel mill, Tri-C and orchestra wins will set the tone for upcoming union negotiations.
With three major contract victories under their belts, Local 1 Cleveland janitors now embark on their next fight: winning a strong contract with a path to $15 for 500 additional janitors who clean Cleveland’s downtown buildings .
Through their “One Cleveland” campaign, janitors are fighting for a $15 wage along with raising standards in the janitorial industry as a way to ensure all Clevelanders—whether white, Black, or brown—benefit from the city’s booming redevelopment. The city’s comeback is made possible with millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, and all Clevelanders should benefit from the renaissance.
The ArcelorMittal Steel Mill agreement will pump $1.5 million into Cleveland’s most neglected neighborhoods. In addition, the janitors’ five-year union contract improves benefits such as holidays and strengthens their pension and healthcare funds.