DETROIT – Yesterday, downtown Detroit security officers walked off the job in an unfair labor practice strike to protest over threats of retaliation from their employer for trying to come together with coworkers for union rights and at least $15. In a show of solidarity with striking officers, SEIU Local 1 janitors and members of Detroit Metro AFL-CIO affiliates did not cross the picket lines, refusing to clean and service affected buildings. Following, a number of 2020 presidential candidates expressed their support for the security officers in their fight for union rights and at least $15:
“Every worker in this country deserves the dignity that comes with fair wages and benefits — and the right to collectively bargain. I’m proud to stand with Detroit security officers today as they fight for a $15 minimum wage and union rights. #OneDetroit” -Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden
“It’s a shame that the people who are often first in line to protect their city are not offered protection of their own in the form of fair wages & workers’ rights. I am proud to support downtown Detroit security officers in their fight for union rights. #OneDetroit #FightFor15.” – Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
“All working people have a right to form a union in a fast and fair process. I am proud to support downtown Detroit security officers, who are committed to doing whatever it takes to win union rights and at least $15 an hour. #OneDetroit.” – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
“As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of #JusticeforJanitors, let’s remember the fight for worker equality is alive today and needs our support. I stand with #OneDetroit and the downtown security officers. We must stand together with workers to hold corporations accountable.” –Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
“I stand in solidarity with Detroit security officers in their #FightFor15 and their right to a union. #OneDetroit #StandforSecurity.” – Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA 15th District)
“I stand with Detroit security officers in their fight to protect their right to a union and at least $15 an hour #FightFor15 #OneDetroit #StandforSecurity” – Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH 13th District)
“Detroit security officers have a right to form a union. I stand with them. #OneDetroit #StandforSecurity” – Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT)
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.
Every year, Local 1 awards college scholarships across the Midwest to members and their children because no matter our background, we all want a better future for our families. Congratulations to all of our scholarship winners!
The janitors, custodians, airport workers, security officers and other working people of Local 1 urge elected leaders to take swift, bold action on climate change
CHICAGO – The following is a statement from SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff regarding SEIU Local 1’s endorsement of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-MA) Green New Deal resolution:
“I’m happy to announce that SEIU Local 1 has endorsed the Green New Deal. Local 1 members are serious about taking decisive action to address the imminent danger of climate change, because no matter our background or where we come from, all working families want healthy communities in which they can thrive.
“As a union representing more than 50,000 working people, a majority of whom are women, immigrants and people of color, in 11 cities across the Midwest, we are committed to the fight for economic, racial, immigrant and environmental justice.
“Local 1 members live in frontline communities disproportionately impacted by the threats and harms of climate change, environmental injustices and income inequality. That is why Local 1 urges our elected leaders to not delay in taking bold action to reduce carbon emissions, switch to renewable energies, create good union jobs and provide a just transition for workers and communities impacted by the decline of fossil fuels.”
CLEVELAND – By a unanimous vote, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 janitors who clean Cleveland’s downtown buildings ratified a historic new union contract this afternoon as part of their campaign for “One Cleveland,” a city in which all working people—white, Black and brown—can benefit from downtown’s resurgence.
Under the five-year contract agreement, which covers 500 janitors, wages will increase up to 25%, with the average hourly wage reaching $15 by 2023, and janitors will receive fully funded healthcare from their employer. The wage hike, four times higher than what janitors won in their previous contract, translates into an extra $13,104 to $16,744 for downtown janitors over the life of the agreement.
“Our janitor-led ‘One Cleveland’ campaign has proved to be a historic success, and I’m so proud of how we came together to win a better future for our city,” said Brian Yarbrough, a Local 1 janitor at the Fifth Third Center who negotiated the new contract alongside his co-workers. “The wages and benefits we won will provide a game-changing boost for our families and Cleveland’s most neglected communities. While Cleveland janitors have won a major victory, we won’t stop until all Ohio janitors earn at least $15 and can fully support their families.”
The contract victory comes on the heels of similar contracts won in recent weeks by Cleveland janitors at the Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), the Cleveland Orchestra and the ArcelorMittal Steel Mill. These four contracts are worth $11 million and cover 700 total Local 1 Cleveland janitors, who joined together across different backgrounds to fight for $15 and build One Cleveland.
As part of their One Cleveland campaign, janitors fought for a $15 wage and improved workplace standards as a way to ensure all Clevelanders benefit from the city’s booming redevelopment.
In the coming months, more Local 1 janitors in Cleveland as well as Akron, Columbus and Cincinnati will launch their fight for strong new contracts and the good raises they need to lift their cities for everyone. Overall, 1,650 Local 1 janitors across Ohio will negotiate new contracts by the end of 2019.
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.