On October 23, SEIU Local 1 janitors, joined by Show Me $15 fast food workers, Washington University graduate workers, the St. Louis County NAACP, the St. Louis Labor Council, Representative-elect Rasheen Aldridge and more rallied at the Old Courthouse. Local 1 janitors and allies are coming together across different backgrounds for a strong new contract and One St. Louis, a region where all working people – Black, white or brown – can make ends meet with at least $15 and good union jobs.
Five years after the Ferguson protests, working people are still struggling to make ends meet. The income gap between white and black St. Louis residents by more than 10 percent, with black residents three times more likely to live in poverty. Janitors’ fight is in line with the Ferguson Commission’s recommendation of a $15 wage to give working families the opportunity to thrive.
In recent weeks, janitors have been standing up and telling their stories. After a rally at City Hall, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to support a $15 wage for janitors to make the St. Louis area more equitable across racial lines.
Contract negotiations are ongoing. While it starts with $15 and a strong new contract for 2,100 janitors, Local 1 members are united for $15 for all working people across St. Louis City and County – graduate student workers, fast food workers, healthcare workers and more.