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Kansas City Public Schools janitors vote to join union

KCPS janitorJanitors who work in Kansas City Public Schools have voted to join a union.

The union vote came earlier this month, when 90 custodians elected to join the Service Employees International Union Local 1, which represents more than 300 workers in the district.

The custodians work for the Marcis & Associates janitorial services firm, which earlier this year won a $10 million, three-year contract with the school district.

Union members had supported the district’s decision to give the contract to a new company, saying the previous firm did not recognize union workers and that schools had seen a decline in cleanliness amid understaffing.

Velma Chapman, a custodian at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, said in a statement from the union that the custodians will be better able to care for the schools as members of SEIU Local 1.

“My coworkers and I came together on the job so we could have a voice in keeping KCPS as clean and healthy as possible,” Chapman said.

Read the full story over at the Kansas City Star!

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Columbus janitors ratify new union contract, move toward a living wage

Oct 29It seems that the cleaning companies who employ janitors in Columbus have awakened to a new reality: they are dealing with a fighting union. On December 3 about 750 Columbus janitors ratified a new 3-year contract. Negotiations were concluded much more swiftly than for the previous contract, and the janitors’ employers made significant concessions.

The janitors, who are members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, will receive between $2000 and $3000 more in wages per year over the life of the contract. The contract also strengthens protections for members, including discrimination for sexual orientation and gender identity. It also adds funeral leave for the first time.

The cleaning companies probably didn’t want a repeat of 2013, when the janitors organized numerous protests, held rolling strikes in downtown Columbus office buildings, and were arrested during sit-ins at Fifth Third Bank and PNC Bank.

“This contract will allow janitors, who perform difficult and thankless work, the ability to provide for their families and their communities,” said SEIU Local 1 member Diane Hudson. “The increase in pay is significant and that will make a huge difference in my life. As someone who is caring for an aging parent, time is very important to me, but so is knowing that I can afford to pay my bills. The increased wages will allow me to spend more time caring for my mother and doing things with my family.”

Read the full story over at the Columbus Free Press!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEIU Local 1 Metro Security Officers Approve Contract to Invest in Chicagoland Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2017

SEIU Local 1 Metro Security Officers Approve Contract to Invest in Chicagoland Communities

Metropolitan Security Officers approve contract agreement for more than 7,000 Chicagoland officers

CHICAGO—Metropolitan Security Officers have negotiated and ratified a new three-year contract that will help families invest in their communities and help in creating a better Chicago. While Chicago’s Metro Security Officers protect high-profile sites like University of Chicago, the Chicago Housing Authority, United Airlines in the Willis Tower, and Maggie Daley Park, many officers reside in Chicago’s roughest neighborhoods.

“When contractors in Chicago invest in families, our children and our communities benefit,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “By standing together, Metropolitan Security Officers won a great contract that will benefit Chicagoland for years to come.”

The security officers approved a new union contract with important wage increases while also maintaining health care benefits and more.

More than 7,000 working families will benefit from this historical contract. Together, the officers will bring approximately $25 million into their communities over the three year period, pumping much needed resources into our city’s struggling neighborhoods.

“By sticking together, Metro Security Officers won good raises as well as better benefits,” said Maggie Daley Park Security Officer Idris Amao. “This will give us more opportunities to invest in our communities.”

The new three-year Metro Security Officers’ contract, which goes into effect on January 1, 2017, guarantees:

  • Strengthen health insurance for members while increasing coverage for all officers under agreement
  • Greatly increase wages of officers allowing them to better provide for their families
  • Improve sick leave benefits for officers that allow them to take paid sick leave when they or a member of their family is sick and then need to miss work

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SEIU Local 1 unites 50,000 property service workers in the Midwest, including security officers, janitors, window washers and residential doormen.  Together we work to build strength for all working people, on the job and in our communities.

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Cleveland airport workers, fast food employees to protest for higher minimum wage

Workers at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport will join workers at airports nationwide at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 29, to advocate for an increase in the minimum wage.

In addition, at 5 p.m. that day, fast food cooks and cashiers, other service industry workers and community allies along with Raise Up Cleveland, a group advocating a $15 an hour minimum wage, will rally in front of the McDonald’s at 3050 Carnegie Ave., according to a release from the Service Employees International Union.

It’s part of a “Fight for $15 day of disruption” that will include protests at nearly 20 major airports; strikes by McDonald’s fast food cooks and cashiers from coast to coast; and demonstrations by baggage handlers and cabin cleaners at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and hospital workers in Pittsburgh.

Read the full story over at Crain’s Cleveland.

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Hundreds Of O’Hare Workers Stage 1-Day Walkout: ‘They Treat Us Like Trash’

extralargeO’HARE — A broad coalition of labor groups and political leaders joined more than 400 airport workers to demand higher pay and better working conditions at O’Hare Airport on Tuesday, causing a brief but thundering ruckus as service continued normally inside the terminal.
Hundreds of demonstrators packed the entire walkway between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, chanting slogans and waving signs reading “Poverty Wages Don’t Fly” passed out by uniformed members of the Service Employees International Union.”For a year now, O’Hare workers have been standing up and telling anyone who would listen that they need better wages, they need respect and dignity on the job, and they need a union,” said Tom Balanoff, president of SEIU Local 1, leading off a news conference amid the protest.

Read the full story over at DNA Info.
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Por $15 la hora cientos de trabajadores se van a huelga en Chicago

Telemundo Airport StrikeCHICAGO- Docenas de personas fueron arrestadas el martes en distintas partes del país cuando participaban en manifestaciones para exigir que el salario mínimo nacional se fije en 15 dólares la hora.

Las protestas estallaron en diversas ciudades, entre ellas Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis y Nueva York. Destacaba la participación de empleados de restaurantes de comida rápida, de empleadas domésticas y de niñeras. En varias ciudades los manifestantes bloquearon el tránsito en las calles.

En Chicago, cientos de manifestantes se aglomeraron frente al Aeropuerto Internacional O’Hare portando carteles y gritando consignas. La policía acordonó un pasillo por el cual los usuarios del aeropuerto podían caminar. Se informó que unos 500 trabajadores del aeropuerto estaban en huelga.

Lee la historia completa en Telemundo Chicago!

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O’Hare Baggage Handlers Set Strike Date for Tuesday After Thanksgiving

largerO’HARE — Thanksgiving air travelers breathed a sigh of relief as workers at O’Hare International Airport who handle bags, clean jets and help passengers in wheelchairs say they will strike only after the holiday, on Tuesday Nov. 29.

The one-day strike, announced Monday morning at O’Hare, is part of an effort by workers to win a minimum wage of $15 an hour plus added safety measures.

There were fears that the group would strike this week around Thanksgiving, one of the busiest times of the year for airline travel. But workers instead picked the Tuesday after the holiday.

Read the full story over at DNA Info.

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Chicago O’Hare airport workers to strike November 29

CNN Airport StrikeHundreds of workers at Chicago O’Hare International Airport plan to strike on Tuesday, November 29.

The work stoppage will deliberately miss the busy Thanksgiving travel week, a tactic aimed at bolstering public support, said spokeswoman for the Service Employees International Union during a at a press conference at the airport Monday morning.

“It was never their intent to disrupt travel,” said the spokeswoman. “They do want to gain public support.”

Janitors, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and wheelchair attendants want a wage of $15 an hour. Some are paid minimum wage, $8.25 an hour in Illinois. The strike would not affect more critical workers, like air traffic controllers and security screeners.

Read the full story over at CNN Money.

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O’Hare Workers to Go on Strike

downloadCHICAGO (AP) — A strike by hourly workers at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago will add another dimension to a nationwide day of protests by fast-food employees who have been pushing for a $15 hourly wage and union rights, organizers said Monday.

Thousands of workers plan to walk off the job at McDonald’s restaurants and other fast-food spots in more than 340 cities on Nov. 29, organizers said in a news release. The planned “Day of Disruption” will mark the fourth anniversary of the first protests at McDonald’s restaurants in New York.

The attention-grabbing airport strike is “going to cause complete disruption in travel plans for the day and maybe days to come,” said Kendall Fells, national organizing director of the Fight for $15 campaign. “Four decades ago, airport jobs were jobs you could live off of. Now airport jobs are just like fast-food jobs. We’re all standing together.”

The Service Employees International Union announced Monday that hundreds of workers will strike that day at O’Hare, one of the nation’s busiest airports. The union has helped fund and staff the Fight for $15 campaign.

Read the full story over at U.S. News.

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Thousands of workers join ‘Fight for $15’ protests at O’Hare and across Chicago

WGN Airport StrikeCHICAGO —  A nationwide “Day of Disruption” didn’t really disrupt much as the Fight for $15 made its way to O’Hare Airport Tuesday afternoon, where demonstrators and the SEIU say workers need to earn $15 an hour to raise their families.

The Fight for $15 ended at O’Hare Airport, where the SEIU estimates there were 2,000 protestors, 500 of whom walked off the job at American and United. Janitors, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and wheelchair attendants are among those rallying for a $15 hourly minimum wage. Some of those participating are contracted by Prospect Airport Services and AirScrub Inc.

“My daughters need root canals and I can’t even take them to do that,” said Kisha Rivera, who makes $10.50 an hour.

Oliwia Pac, a student who works several jobs at O’Hare, said the lowest paying is as a wheelchair attendant making minimum wage or $8.75 an hour.

“It’s tough. With the wages I live paycheck to paycheck,” Pac said.

Protestors say they we weren’t trying to shut the airport down, but to elevate the voice of the workers. O’Hare is an economic engine. They say they deserve to make a living wage.

Read the full story over at WGN-TV.

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