News & Events

SEIU Local 1 members continue to make headlines in their fight for economic and social justice! Be sure to check out their stories in the news as well as the Local 1 blog.

SEIU Missouri State Council Celebrates Wesley Bell’s Upset Primary Victory

Bell will bring much-needed trust and transparency to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s office  

The following is a statement from SEIU janitor Eugene Hubbard regarding Wesley Bell’s upset primary victory over longtime incumbent Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch:

“St. Louis County residents voted to move our region in a bold new direction. In voting for Bell, our county’s working families are demanding true accountability in the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

“We cannot win economic justice without racial justice. And for too long, communities like mine haven’t felt heard.

“SEIU members look forward to working with Bell to return trust and transparency to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.”

 

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Janitors Ratify New Contract with Historic Raises, Continue Fight for One Detroit with Higher Wages and Union Rights for All Workers

Agreement brings janitors to $15 in 3 years

DETROIT – SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 1 janitors, joined by elected allies, announced their historic contract victory where they attain a $15 wage in year three of their four year contract. Their win is the first in the movement to build One Detroit, a city in which all working people can enjoy the benefits of downtown Detroit’s resurgence with the higher wages they need to support their families and neighborhoods. These wage increases will add more than $9.3 million to Detroit’s economy and communities over the life of the contract. 

“This new contract means a better future for myself, my children and my community,” said SEIU Local 1 Detroit Metropolitan Airport Janitor Jasmine Hall. “But our fight for One Detroit isn’t over – we won’t stop until security officers, airport workers, arena workers, fast food workers and more can support their families with a $15 wage and good union jobs.”

Currently, janitors who keep downtown Detroit’s buildings, like the Renaissance Center and the Guardian Building, clean and safe are struggling to raise their families wages as low as $9.45. Median annual earnings for janitors are so low that many rely on public assistance just to make ends meet. While downtown is booming again, janitors are fighting for at least a $15 wage to ensure they can support their families and their neighborhoods.

“In the last five years alone, the Detroit City Council and Wayne County Commission have approved more than $1 billion in tax incentives in and around downtown Detroit,” said Detroit City Council President Pro Tempore Mary Sheffield. “This contract and the campaign that led to it have sent a strong signal that as much as Detroiters celebrate downtown’s revitalization, we recognize that it is meaningless if working families aren’t experiencing the district’s economic boom. As leaders, we must continue to push for economic justice for the people whose hard work powers Detroit’s comeback every day.”

“We won today, but the fight for One Detroit isn’t over,” said Detroit City Councilwoman Janee Ayers. “This is a series of uphill battles. We have to keep fighting, keep organizing and keep pushing. This is a victory, but we truly haven’t won until every Detroit worker has a living wage. We still have work to do, and we have to keep striving together for working families, for the right to unionize and for a $15 wage.”

“Janitors came together and won a path to a $15 wage to strengthen their families and communities,” said Wayne County Commissioner Tim Killeen. “The fight for One Detroit will continue until all of our region’s working people win a $15 living wage and a union. We must make sure that any public tax dollars go towards creating good, family-sustaining jobs.”

In June, Local 1 janitors kicked off their campaign for a strong new contract and for One Detroit, a city in which all working people can experience the benefits of Detroit’s redevelopment. While the fight for One Detroit starts with higher wages for hardworking janitors, it also includes $15 and union rights for fast food workers, security officers, airport workers and more.

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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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SEIU Local 1 Janitors, Joined by Prominent Clergy and Elected Allies, to Announce Result of Industry-Wide Strike Vote at Prayer Vigil

As 1,700 janitors enter final days of contract bargaining…

SEIU Local 1 Janitors, Joined by Prominent Clergy and Elected Allies, to Announce Result of Industry-Wide Strike Vote at Prayer Vigil

Possible janitorial strike would affect entire downtown market  

DETROIT – Today, SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 1 janitors will announce the result of an industry-wide strike vote as they head into their final days of contract negotiations. SEIU Local 1 janitors, along with several of Detroit’s most prominent clergy members and elected allies, will make the announcement and pray for a positive outcome to bargaining, including the raises they need to support their families. Should negotiations for higher wages and better benefits stall, 1,700 Local 1 janitors could walk off the job after their contract expires on July 31.

Currently, janitors who keep downtown Detroit’s buildings, like the Renaissance Center and the Guardian Building, clean and safe are struggling to raise their families wages as low as $9.45. Median annual earnings for janitors are so low that many rely on public assistance just to make ends meet. While downtown is booming again, janitors are fighting for at least a $15 wage to ensure they can support their families and their neighborhoods.

Clergy, elected leaders and other labor allies will gather in front of the Compuware Building, a downtown landmark Local 1 janitors clean, to encourage and support the janitors who keep downtown running every day but are not experiencing the benefits of Detroit’s resurgence. Together, they’re continuing the fight for One Detroit, a city in which all working families can thrive and where any public money used for development go towards creating good jobs.

WHAT: SEIU Local 1 Janitors Announce Result of Industry-Wide Strike Vote

WHEN: Monday, July 23, 2018, 7:00 P.M.

WHERE: Compuware Building (in front of statue facing Campus Martius)

1050 Woodward Ave.

 Detroit, MI 48226

WHO: SEIU Local 1 Janitors

Reverend Dee Dee M. Coleman, President of the Detroit Council of Baptist Pastors and Vicinity

Reverend Dr. James C. Perkins, Immediate Past President of the Progressive Baptist Convention

Reverend Dr. E El Branch, Pastor of Third New Hope Baptist Church

Reverend Dr. Tellis Chapman, Pastor of Galilee Baptist Church

Reverend Horace L. Sheffield III, Community Activist and President of the Detroit Association of Black Organizations

Detroit Councilwoman Janee Ayers

State Representative Stephanie Chang (HD 6)

Union Affiliates of the Detroit Metro AFL-CIO

VISUALS: Janitors, clergy, elected allies holding brooms and mops, rallying, praying, holding signs

BACKGROUND: In June, Local 1 janitors kicked off their campaign for a strong new contract and for One Detroit, a city in which all working people can experience the benefits of Detroit’s redevelopment. While the fight for One Detroit starts with higher wages for hardworking janitors, it also includes $15 and union rights for fast food workers, airport workers and more.

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Service Employees International Union Local 1 unites 50,000 workers throughout the Midwest, including janitors, security officers, 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.

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Joined by Aldermen, Striking Chicago Window Washers March On City Hall as Fight for a Fair Three-Year Contract Continues

Aldermen stand in solidarity with window washers and urge 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 descended upon City Hall—a landmark building they clean—Wednesday morning with their families. They were joined by more than a dozen Chicago aldermen to urge employers like Corporate Cleaning Services to offer fair compensation for their treacherous work. Striking window washers were greeted outside by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“Window washers clean Chicago’s landmark buildings like City Hall, the Willis Tower and the Hancock Center, but too many of us are struggling to support our families,” said SEIU Local 1 window washer Jorge Arizaga, who cleans City Hall. “It’s time our employers, like Corporate Cleaning Services, offer us a fair wage of $25 an hour in a three-year contract.”

Chicago window washers, whose contract expired June 30, have been on an industry-wide strike since July 2. They will not resume work until employers Corporate Cleaning Services return to the bargaining table and negotiate the contract window washers need to raise their families.

Window washers can count a majority of Chicago aldermen among their supporters, including Black Caucus Chairman Roderick Sawyer (6th), Latino Caucus Chairman Gilbert Villegas (36th), Progressive Reform Caucus Chairman Scott Waguespack (32nd) as well as 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), Toni Foulkes (16th), 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).

The window washers are fighting 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.

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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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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Detroit City Council Unanimously Passes Resolution Supporting $15 Wage for Janitors

Resolution comes as janitors prepare to hit the bargaining table tomorrow, June 20

DETROIT – Detroit City Council President Pro Tempore Mary Sheffield announced that the Council unanimously passed a resolution aimed at raising the pay for downtown janitors to at least $15 per hour. The resolution passed the day before SEIU Local 1 janitors hit the bargaining table to fight for the raises and strong new contract they need to support their families and their communities.

The resolution is a clear message that Detroit’s elected city leaders, who approve downtown tax abatements and incentives, support downtown developers placing these workers on a path to at least $15 an hour, a wage that allows them to better support their families.

Currently, downtown janitors earn as low as $9.25 to $12.45 per hour, making them eligible for government assistance despite working long weeks. As a result, in part, Detroit doubles the national average in unemployment and is first amongst the top 20 big cities in terms of poverty.

“There comes a time as elected officials that we stop simply reciting these statistics and do something to change the narrative,” said Sheffield, who sponsored the resolution. “We have seen tremendous growth in our downtown, and today, by passing this resolution, this body is saying that those who clean and protect our growth shouldn’t be left behind.”

Downtown janitors hailed the council’s support for the campaign to pay janitors a minimum of $15 per hour.

“Local 1 janitors look forward to working with the Detroit City Council to raise wages to at least $15 and to guarantee union rights for all of our city’s working people,” said Daniel Bell, a member of SEIU Local 1 and janitor at Chase Tower. “We all need the opportunity to share in the prosperity from Detroit’s ‘rebirth,’ not just the wealthy owners. Making sure all Detroiters make at least $15 per hour and have union rights is a good start. These developments are built with our tax dollars – $15 per hour and union rights is the least they could do in return.”

Today, commercial real estate in Detroit’s downtown is valued at anywhere from $21 to $26 per square foot. Putting things in perspective, the Detroit City Council and the Wayne County Commission have approved more than $1 billion in tax incentives to help developers build and renovate downtown office buildings and entertainment venues in recent years.

Last week, janitors kicked off the One Detroit campaign to make sure all working people benefit from the city’s redevelopment. In addition to urging downtown building owners to ensure that janitors and security officers are paid decent wages, the One Detroit campaign asserts all workers’ right to affiliate with unions to negotiate wages – free from employer interference.

“We commend Mary Sheffield and the entire Detroit City Council for making such a clear statement about our janitors,” said Stephanie Arellano, Detroit City Director of the Service Employees International Union Local 1. “Local 1 janitors are proud of the work they do, and they deserve better for their families.”

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Service Employees International Union Local 1 unites 50,000 workers throughout the Midwest, including janitors, security officers, 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.

 

 

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Toledo Janitors and Community Allies Join Nationwide ‘Justice for Janitors’ Rallies

TOLEDO – Dozens of SEIU Local 1 janitors and their community allies, including Ohio State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Democratic Toledo City Councilman Nick Komives, rallied Thursday afternoon to mark the 28th anniversary of the Justice for Janitors movement and demand good jobs at the PNC Bank Building.

Janitors and their allies, including building tenants, rallied outside the PNC Bank Building, 405 Madison Ave., to urge property management company ZAK Properties, an affiliate of Five Lakes Global Group,to support good jobs in Toledo by using a janitorial contractor that provides decent wages, quality benefits and union rights.

Good jobs at the PNC Bank Building will improve the lives of workers, contribute to the prosperity of Toledo’s neediest communities and bring clear benefits to the building owner and manager, including high-quality service and low turnover. ZAK Properties can support our communities by simply using a janitorial contractor that allows better job security, affordable benefits and gives the janitors a voice on the job.

“We won’t stand down until ZAK Properties honors good jobs,” said George White, SEIU Local 1 executive board member and janitor at Seaway Building Services in Toledo. “Low-wage jobs do not allow hardworking families to afford basic life necessities like groceries, rent and keeping the lights and heat on. Paying workers decent wages would allow them to support their local economies and, in turn, revitalize communities and neighborhoods.”

Janitors from across Ohio, including Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Akron, joined the Toledo action, which was one of many similar Justice for Janitors events happening across the country.  In remembrance of the original campaign, SEIU janitors take action in events nationwide each week of June 15.

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Local 1 janitors in Detroit rally for ‘One Detroit’

In a sea of purple signs and T-shirts Local 1 janitors in Detroit today kicked off their contract campaign and the One Detroit movement.

Local 1 janitors, joined by Detroit 15, Detroit Council President Brenda Jones, Scott Benson, Detroit City Councilman District 3, and Wayne County Commissioners Alisha Bell, Irma Clark-Coleman and Martha Scott, rallied at the Spirit of Detroit and marched through downtown to fight for a strong new contract and for #OneDetroit, where all working families can benefit from the city’s resurgence!

Read this wonderful articles from The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press for a full recap of the rally.

Click the image above for the full PDF

Enjoy photos from the One Detroit event below!

 

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