Illinois

SEIU Local 1 Endorses Ameya Pawar for Chicago City Treasurer

Major progressive union representing 50,000  janitors, security officers, residential doorstaff and more makes endorsement in City Treasurer race

CHICAGO – At the forefront of the fight for economic, racial, immigrant and environmental justice, SEIU Local 1 announced its endorsement of Alderman Ameya Pawar for Chicago City Treasurer. 

“Alderman Pawar has demonstrated his commitment to improving the lives of Chicago’s working families,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “SEIU Local 1 members across the city are ready to do what it takes to get him elected and look forward to working together to lift all of Chicago’s neighborhoods.”

“More than ever, we need elected leaders who will fight alongside us on issues like a $15 minimum wage and union rights,” said Chicago Public Schools custodian Paula Henriquez. “Local 1 members are ready to get out the vote in our communities for Alderman Ameya Pawar because he stood with us in many of our fights and will continue to do so.”

“Whether fighting for fair wages and better working conditions at O’Hare Airport or walking the picket line with striking window washers, I am proud to have always stood with the members of SEIU Local 1,” said City Treasurer candidate and 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar. “I am grateful to have their support as we center the needs of working families in the Office of the City Treasurer.”

Representing more than 50,000 working people, Local 1 janitors, security officers, residential doorstaff and more support candidates who have demonstrated strong records on issues important to working families.  By coming together on the job, SEIU Local 1 members are winning higher wages, better benefits and a brighter future for their families and their communities.

 

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SEIU Local 1 Congratulates Governor-Elect JB Pritzker on His Victory

SEIU Local 1 Congratulates Governor-Elect JB Pritzker on His Victory 

SEIU Local 1 members look forward to working with Pritzker on union expansion and $15 statewide minimum wage

CHICAGO – The following is a statement from SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff regarding governor-elect JB Pritzker’s victory over incumbent governor Bruce Rauner. SEIU Local 1 members reached more than 50,000 voters ahead of the election:

“Illinois working families turned out across different backgrounds and racial lines to to elect JB Pritzker our next governor and reject Bruce Rauner’s record of utter failure.”

“Instead of moving Illinois in a positive direction, Rauner made working people the scapegoat for our state’s problems. JB has the opportunity to right the wrongs of his predecessor by focusing on addressing the issues that matter to the working families of our state.

“SEIU Local 1 janitors security officers, doorstaff and more look forward to working with JB to implement progressive goals, like a $15 minimum wage and a fair tax, to make our state a better place for all.”

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Local 1 Members Fired Up to Vote at JB Pritzker Rally

Stepping to the beat of the Dunbar High School marching band, hundreds of  SEIU Local 1, SEIU HCII and SEIU Local 73 members rallied and marched their way to the polls with progressive leaders JB Pritzker, Juliana Stratton and Kwame Raoul—the respective Democratic candidates for Illinois governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general—along with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs.

JB Pritzker: “We are fighting for a $15 minimum wage and a union.”

With early voting open ahead of the Nov. 6 election, hundreds of SEIU members cast their vote for candidates who support working families. Janitors, security officers and higher education professors and adjuncts, along with homecare, hospital and airport workers from all different backgrounds came together to show their in the street as well as the voting booth and to enjoy a day of music and fun activities.

SEIU members are working to elect true progressive leaders like JB Pritzker, Juliana Stratton and Kwame Raoul, who will fight for all Illinois working families by leading on union expansion, a $15 statewide minimum wage and higher overall wages for all working people. Because Whether white, Black or brown, Michigan working families care about the same issues: higher wages, better benefits, safe communities, good schools and meaningful progress in the fights for economic, racial, immigrant and environmental justice.

Check out SEIU Local 1’s Twitter to see more photos and videos from the event!

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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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