By Reginald Fields, The Plain Dealer
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio voters dealt a sharp rebuke to first-year Gov. John Kasich and his conservative agenda Tuesday by overwhelmingly rejecting the restrictive new collective bargaining law he championed. (more…)
Cleveland residents, including SEIU Local 1 Member Sandra Ellington, clean up the trash around a foreclosed home and take the bags of garbage to the Bank that owns it. The volunteers ask why the Bank isn’t taking care of its properties, which when left abandoned can increase crime and reduce property values in their neighborhoods.
Cincinnati residents, including SEIU Local 1 Member William Soult, clean up the trash around a foreclosed home and take the bags of garbage to the Bank that owns it. The volunteers ask why the Bank isn’t taking care of its properties, which when left abandoned can increase crime and reduce property values in their neighborhoods.
Photo by: Mark Duncan, Associated Press
Custodial workers for Services Employees International Union Local 1 stage a rally Wednesday afternoon in downtown Cleveland to bring awareness to their plight of seeing shrinking wages and expanding work loads.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Unionized Cleveland-area custodial workers staged a rally Wednesday afternoon on Public Square seeking “Justice for Janitors.”
About 50 janitors staged a 30-minute rally to raise public awareness of their plight, said Dennis Dingow, city director of Service Employees International Union Local 1.
He said janitors, like many Americans, have seen their standard of living erode, and they are being asked to work harder for less, while businesses are making record profits and paying less in corporate taxes.
“Cleaning costs are the second-biggest expense for a building owner next to utilities,” Dingow said. “They need bodies to do the cleaning, but the housing market has compressed and jobs are endangered.”
Contracts for 160,000 Service Employees International Union janitors nationwide — employed predominantly by commercial business owners — will expire over the next year starting next month in Pittsburgh.
Contracts in Cleveland, which has 700 SEIU members, will expire April 30.
Similar union rallies were held in 21 other major cities from Boston to Los Angeles.
Dingow said Gov. John Kasich has proven to be unfriendly toward workers in the public sector, and “if the public sector loses its fight, so will the private sector we service.”
“”Union officials told members to vote no Nov. 8 on Issue 2, a referendum on the new state law limiting public employees’ collective-bargaining powers. They noted that collective bargaining is the best and fairest way to negotiate wages.
Randa Bunce, 60, of Lakewood, who has done custodial work for the past 30 years, said she fears what a new SEIU contract could bring.
“Nowadays, anything can happen with these new contracts,” Bunce said. “Things are happening today I’d never dream would happen.”
Dingow said rallies like Wednesday’s come at a time when Ohio is in “desperate need” of good jobs that will revitalize the economy.
By Pat Galbincea, The Plain Dealer
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org, 216-999-5159
Read about Local 1’s work in Ohio this summer and get informed about current issues!
A group of unemployed workers and labor leaders gathered at 11 a.m. to call on the congressman to work harder to bring down the unemployment rate, and worry less about Washington politics.
WEST CHESTER TWP. – A protest by union groups and others at the West Chester office of Speaker of the House John Boehner grew rowdy enough Tuesday that staff members locked the door.
Boehner was not at the office …
… Rainey Rohrmeier, of Harrison, took time off from her job as a union electrician to join Tuesday’s protest and send Boehner a message.
“It’s the unwillingness to compromise, the lack of support for workers – the people who are down and dirty doing the work,” she said. “All the policies are favoring the rich people and now they call them ‘job creators.’ So where are the jobs?”