SEIU Local 1 Janitors Launched Inspiring ‘One Cincinnati’ Campaign to Fight for Financial Prosperity and Dignity on the Job
Janitors kicked off campaign to secure path to $15 hourly wage and union rights for all working families in Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – SEIU Local 1 janitors and allies rallied Tuesday morning at the Fountain Square to launch their fight for a strong new contract with a path to $15 and better benefits. SEIU Local 1 janitors across the state of Ohio, were joined by Cincinnati Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld and numerous allies to end financial inequality working families in Cincinnati face every day.
“It’s unfair that the buildings I clean everyday make billions of dollars, yet they refuse to raise the wages of our hard work” said Cincinnati janitor David Dean, currently working for Atrium Two office building. “Together, we have the power to speak out against injustice, as we fight for higher wages, better benefits and unions for all! That’s why we’re fighting for a strong new contract and a brighter Cincinnati for all—whether you are Black, white or brown.”
While downtown Cincinnati is booming with new development worth billions of dollars, over 600 local janitors who do dignified and skilled work to ensure our city runs smoothly are forced to raise their families on wages as low as $11.05. That equals an annual salary of about $22,984, which qualifies a full-time janitor for public assistance for housing, food and healthcare.
“As some of the big companies in town have raised the wages for their own employees, that’s great, we sincerely applaud that — but we also say, don’t leave the janitors behind. They’re right there in the same building, working hard, and the attitude needs to be that we’re all on the same team.” said Councilmember P.G. Sittenfeld
Unfortunately, it has started to become the norm, janitors—who clean offices of major corporations such as Fifth Third Bank, Kroger, Macy’s, Huntington Bancshares, and PNC as well as some public facilities such as Mercy Health, multiple Hamilton County agencies, and public libraries in Cincinnati—even work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet.
Janitors have witnessed other major wins for SEIU Local 1 members, and they are confident they will win. The fight for One Cincinnati will not stop until all working people across the city, including janitors, security officers and other underpaid workers are on a path to $15 and be a part of the real benefits from the city’s resurgence.
Janitors and their community received the support from labor and community allies, including P.G. Sittenfeld, Cincinnati DSA, Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center, David McDonald, among others. Together we are fighting for “One Cincinnati” — a city that works for all of us—whether Black, white or brown—and not just a certain wealthy few.
Service Employees International Union Local 1 unites 50,000 workers throughout the Midwest, including janitors, security officers, airport workers, higher education faculty, food service workers and others. Local 1 is committed to improving the lives of its members and all working people by winning real economic justice and standing at the forefront of the fight for immigrant, racial and environmental justice.