Illinois

Chicago Window Washers Win Historic Raise

In July, Local 1 Chicago window washers hit the street on strike! Marching on City Hall, disrupting traffic and even dressing up as superheroes to bring attention to the low wages they earned. Despite the dangerous work they do every day, too many window washers were struggling to support their families and many were forced to rely on public assistance for healthcare.

ABC 7: Window washers dressed as superheroes protest as strike continues

But by sticking together, they won a historic new contract. 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.

“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.”

Chicago Tribune: Striking window washers ratify new contract, win wage increase to $26 hourly over the life of the deal

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. By coming together and staying strong, they were able to win a better future for themselves and their families.

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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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Joined by Aldermen, Hundreds of Striking Window Washers Descend on City Hall

***B-Roll Footage Available Upon Request***

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.

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Local 1 Window Washers On Strike!

SEIU Local 1 window washers put their lives on the line every single day to clean Chicago’s billion-dollar skyscrapers, but their employers, like Corporate Cleaning Services, refuse to offer them fair compensation for their dangerous work! Last week, Local 1 window washers took to the streets on strike to fight for a living wage and better benefits. The strike kicked off with a press conference and march with hundreds of window washers past Trump Tower and through Chicago’s River North neighborhood. For the rest of the week, hundreds of window washers hit the streets on strike to demand a better future for their families.

Chicago Tribune: High-rise window washers go on strike for higher pay, better insurance: ‘You put your life on the ropes every day’

The strike continued into its second week in front of the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, where hundreds of window washers and the families rallied in superhero costumes.

Check out video from the superhero rally:

Every year, window washers clean Lurie Children’s Hospital dressed as superheroes to brighten the days of patients. Now, the window washers are fighting to support their own kids with a fair wage that puts food on the table and benefits that keep their families safe.

CBS Chicago: Chicago Window Washers On Strike For 9th Day

Local 1 window washers are relying on community  support to win a strong new contract with the wages they need to raise their families. To help these brave real life superheroes, call Corporate Cleaning Services CEO Neal Zucker at 312-573-3333 ext. 22, or click here, to tell him you support Chicago window washers!

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Window Washers, Chicago’s Real Life Skyline Superheroes, Continue Industry-Wide Strike for a Better Future for their Kids with Family Rally at Millennium Park

Window Washers, Children Dressed in Superhero Costumes to Rally at Millennium Park to Urge Corporate Services CEO to Invest in Chicago’s Communities

CHICAGO – SEIU Local 1 window washers, joined by their families, will continue their strike Tuesday at Millennium Park in superhero costumes. They will rally with their children and march downtown as part of their fight for a strong new contract that includes fair wages and benefits for the treacherous work they do.

Every year, Chicago’s window washers scale Lurie Children’s Hospital in superhero costumes to brighten the days of the children patients at the hospital. Now, they are fighting for the future of their kids.

As part of their job, Chicago window washers hang hundreds of feet in the air and put their lives on the line to clean iconic buildings like Trump Tower, the Willis Tower and 875 N. Michigan. But window washers are struggling to get by on low wages and a healthcare policy that forces many to rely on public assistance.

Our city’s window washers are on strike since Monday, July 2nd. They will not go back to work until their employers, like Corporate Cleaning Services, sit down at the table and bargain in good faith.

WHAT: Chicago window washers Superhero family rally with children, costumes,

WHEN: Tuesday, July 10 at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, 201 E. Randolph Street, Chicago.

WHO: Hundreds of SEIU Local 1 window washers, their children, community allies

VISUALS: Striking Window Washers in costume: Spiderman, Batman, Robin, Captain America and others. Children in superhero capes. Blown up posters of skyline views taken hundreds of feet in the air by window washers on the job.  Window washers in uniform chanting, holding signs, rallying at Cloud Gate. Children chanting.

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 $11 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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Hundreds of Chicago Window Washers Vote Overwhelmingly to Strike

Potential strike could occur anytime after June 30

CHICAGO – SEIU Local 1 window washers, joined by Chicago Latino Caucus Chairman Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) outside Trump Tower, announced Monday afternoon they have voted overwhelmingly to strike, if necessary. A strike could occur anytime after their current collective bargaining agreement expires on June 30.

“Any strike we have would disrupt the industry for the entire season,” said Cruz Guzman, a Chicago window washer with Service One. “We’re ready to do whatever it takes to help support our families, even go on strike. Because too many of us are barely making ends meet. We’re asking our employers: come to the table and offer us a fair wage for the dangerous work we do. And we’re asking the people of Chicago to support us.”

Every day, Chicago window washers hang hundreds of feet in the air and put their lives on the line to clean iconic buildings like Trump Tower, the Willis Tower and 875 N. Michigan but are struggling on low wages and a healthcare policy that forces many to rely on public assistance.

“The working people who do some of the most dangerous work in our city should not struggle to make ends meet. Their families should not be forced to rely on public assistance for healthcare,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “That’s why window washers are demanding a fair raise and a better healthcare plan to help them support their families and communities.”

Window washing is an important and historic family industry in Chicago, yet many workers struggle to make ends meet on wages as low as $11 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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Local 1 Rallies on May Day

On May 1, Local 1 joined hundreds of labor, community and faith allies across the Midwest to mark May Day, or International Workers’ Day.

In Chicago, a coalition of allies rallied to resist the racist, anti-immigrant policies of the Trump and Rauner administrations. Demonstrators held marches and rallies throughout the day, during which they called for demilitarization of our borders in order to protect immigrant families.

Democratic Illinois gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker joined Local 1 for the May Day festivities. Check out photos from Chicago:

Many media outlets covered the Chicago events, including the Chicago Sun-Times and Telemundo Chicago!

Here’s a look at the May Day actions in Chicago:

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Local 1 members joined community groups in the city’s Buckeye neighborhood to demand that communities like this one not be forgotten.

“We know that unions are the answer to these problems. The turning point in my life was getting a job with a union because one of the best ways to lift low-wage workers out of poverty is to join a union,” said Sandra Ellington, Local 1 Executive Board member and Cleveland janitor.

Here’s media coverage from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland Scene!

And in Detroit, Local 1 members rallied with dozens of community allies at Clark Park. They were joined by Democratic Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed. Local 1 member Maria Jackson spoke about the importance of building unions and the fear experienced by immigrants in joining together.

Together, we rise against hatred, racism and bigotry and urge all Americans to stand up for the protection of all our communities!

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City Building Custodians in Chicago Ratify Strong New Contract

On April 28, Local 1 city building custodians in Chicago ratified a strong new contract that guarantees good annual raises, better benefits and a stronger retirement. Together, we rise for the good union jobs our communities need to thrive!

Check out photos from the ratification:

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10,000 Local 1 Chicagoland Janitors Overwhelmingly Ratify Strong New Contracts, Win Good Raises and Better Benefits

10,000 Local 1 Chicagoland Janitors Overwhelmingly Ratify Strong New Contracts, Win Good Raises and Better Benefits

Janitors pledge to stand with Chicago Public Schools custodians ahead of possible strike as negotiations for 1,700 with cleaning contractors stall

CHICAGO – By an overwhelming margin, 10,000 Chicagoland SEIU Local 1 janitors approved strong new union contracts that guarantee good annual raises, quality healthcare and comprehensive retirement benefits. The contracts, negotiated with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) as well as suburban contractors, will help janitors across the Chicagoland area support their families and strengthen their communities. The janitors also pledged to support the 1,700 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) custodians ahead of a possible strike after contractors refused to guarantee custodians the resources they need to keep schools clean and healthy for students and teachers.

“These economic gains will directly benefit Chicagoland’s economy for years to come, helping working people build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “Local 1 janitors are leading the way for all working people – when we stand up together and bargain collectively, we all win.”

“By coming together, Local 1 janitors were able to win strong new contracts and the financial security we need,” said SEIU Local 1 janitor Jose Bernal. “Now, we’re ready to stand with CPS custodians as they prepare to do whatever it takes to win the supplies and staffing they need to keep schools clean.”

The new three-year union contracts guarantee: 

  • Annual wage increases for janitors, which will help Chicagoland working families keep up with the rise cost of living
  • Comprehensive retirement benefits including a comprehensive 401(k) package for suburban janitors
  • Stronger contract including more personal days and strengthened protections against sexual harassment

Negotiations for more than 1,700 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) custodians continue, and CPS custodians have threatened to strike if contractors do not guarantee them the supplies and 500 more custodians they need to keep schools clean for students. Many custodians buy their own supplies and suffer immense and impossible workloads, with some schools only having one custodian available to clean after school hours.  The 10,000 Local 1 janitors who ratified their contracts pledged to support CPS custodians as they prepare to do whatever it takes to win cleaner schools for children and to hold contractors like Aramark accountable to the CPS community.

 

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SEIU Illinois State Council Congratulates Winning Endorsed Candidates In Democratic Primary

SEIU Illinois State Council Congratulates Winning Endorsed Candidates In Democratic Primary

Candidates Will Fight for the Working Families of Illinois

CHICAGO – On behalf of the 150,000 janitors, security officers, health care and home care workers, public employees and more, the SEIU Illinois State Council proudly supported its endorsed candidates both financially and with an enthusiastic grassroots effort.  Hundreds of SEIU members knocked on more than 40,000 doors and made thousands of calls. More than 200,000 pieces of literature were sent to communicate with voters and nearly $500,000 was donated in direct contributions to the endorsed candidates.  In addition, thousands of text messages and live calls were used to turn out SEIU members for the endorsed candidates.

The following statement is from SEIU Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff:

“The SEIU Illinois State Council is proud to stand with and congratulate our winning endorsed candidates in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election.

“These candidates will best represent the interests and values of working families in our great state by fighting for a $15 minimum wage, higher wages for all and affordable health care.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with them in the fight for economic, immigrant, racial and environmental justice.”

The victorious SEIU-endorsed candidates include:

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for Illinois 4th Congressional District

Kwame Raoul for Illinois Attorney General

Toni Preckwinkle for Cook County Board President

Karen Yarbrough for Cook County Clerk

 

Cook County Board of Commissioners

Brandon Johnson, 1st District

Dennis Deer, 2nd District

Bill Lowry, 3rd District

Stanley Moore, 4th District

Deborah Sims, 5th District

Donna Miller, 6th District

Luis Arroyo Jr., 8th District

Bridget Degnen, 12th District

Larry Suffredin, 13th District

 

Illinois Senate

Ram Villivalam, 8th District

Iris Martinez, 20th District

Ann Gillespie, 27th District

 

Illinois House

Theresa Mah, 2nd District

Delia Ramirez, 4th District

Lamont Robinson Jr., 5th District

Sonya Harper, 6th District

Kelly Cassidy, 14th District

Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, 17th District

Robert Martwick, 19th District

Lisa Hernandez, 24th District

Justin Slaughter, 27th District

Robert “Bob” Rita, 28th District

Thaddeus Jones, 29th District

William “Will” Davis, 30th District

Mary Flowers, 31st District

Lance Yednock, 76th District

Natalie Manley, 98th District

Marsha Griffin, 115th District

 

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