Press

Contact: press@seiu1.org

Rep. Robin Kelly joins SEIU Local 1 Security Officers starting ‘Fight for 15’ contract negotiations

DSC_0897The “Fight for 15” movement is alive and well in the state of Illinois. SEIU Local 1 Metropolitan Chicago security officers, who secure high-profile sites like the University of Chicago, the Chicago Housing Authority, United Airlines in the Willis Tower, and Maggie Daley Park, were joined by Second District Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) to kick off their contract campaign to reduce violence and improve safety in the Chicagoland area. The sad truth is that median wage for a Metro security officer is $11.25 an hour, just over $23,000 annually. Officers earn as little as $9.40 an hour, or $19,000 annually. These low wages leave many Metro officers trapped in struggling neighborhoods.

President of SEIU Local 1, Tom Balanoff, says that a higher wage for security pays off in higher dividends to the community in the form of helping working families and keeping communities safer.

Congresswoman Kelly calls it “fighting the right kind of fight.” Her friend and House of Representatives colleagues, the legendary John Lewis, would call this fight “good trouble.” The contract will cover 6,000 Chicagoland security officers across Cook County, many of whom live in our area’s roughest neighborhoods. Congresswoman Kelly says, “That’s a fight for a better contract and for a fair wage for you to take care of your families.”

Read the full story over at the Daily Kos.

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Union Files Complaint Over O’Hare Working Conditions

NBC OSHA 1Workers at O’Hare Airport say contractors they work for are committing safety and health violations that putting them at risk for serious injuries.

Service Employee International Union Local 1 filed complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration against three contractors for what they call widespread violations Monday. Both the union and Congressman Luis Gutierrez are calling for an investigation.

Watch the full video and read the full story over at NBC Chicago.

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Marlen Garcia: A ‘moral obligation’ to pay airport workers fairly

1-5 Lawrence & Manheim Rd.Members of the SEIU Local 1 held a rally and press conference just outside of O'Hare International Airport to highlight the plight of the security workers at both O'Hare and Midway airports. Their contract expired on December 31, 2001. The President of Local 1 SEIU Tom Balanoff spoke on their behalf. Sun-Times photo Robert A. Davis

The major airlines operating at O’Hare International Airport should make sure their contractors aren’t ripping off low-level workers such as janitors and baggage handlers. It’s the right thing to do.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel also should see to it that workers, including airplane cabin cleaners, aren’t being forced to work through breaks, start work early and stay late — with no pay for those hours. He should demand that wheelchair attendants be brought to minimum wage when tips don’t get them there.

Some nonunion workers who say companies are skimming wages filed complaints with the Illinois Department of Labor and the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The latter oversees enforcement of Chicago’s $10.50 minimum wage. The Service Employees International Union Local 1, which wants to unionize the workers, is leading the effort.

Read the full story over at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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SEIU Local 1 Janitor Doris Williams: “Jason Kander Stood with Us. Now We Stand With Him”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 2, 2016

CONTACT Nick Desideri desiderin@seiu1.org 630-779-5510

IMG_0576SEIU Local 1 Janitor Doris Williams: “Jason Kander Stood with Us. Now We Stand With Him”  

KANSAS CITY, MO – The following is a statement from SEIU Local 1 janitor Doris Williams:

“In March, Secretary of State Kander stood with 900 Kansas City janitors as we fought for a living wage. By coming together, we were able to win a strong contract that will help us provide for our families.

“Now, we’re proud to stand with him as he campaigns for the U.S. Senate. He has proven he is on the side of working families like mine.

“The janitors, maintenance mechanics, stadium workers, and adjunct professors of SEIU Local 1 will work hard to get out the vote for Jason in November, and we look forward to working with him after his victory.”

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SEIU Local 1 unites nearly 50,000 working people across the Midwest including more than 3,000 in Kansas City. Local 1 in Kansas City represents a wide array of working people, including school cafeteria workers, maintenance mechanics at Kauffman Stadium, industrial workers, and commercial janitors.

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SEIU Local 1 Indy Janitors Joined by City-County Councillor Jared Evans and Community Allies to Call on Zeller to Support Good Jobs

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Thursday, March 31st, 2016

CONTACT: Leesa Allmond allmondl@seiu1.org 405-820-5622

After Carrier and UTEC Outsource Thousands of Indy Jobs to Mexico ….

SEIU Local 1 Indy Janitors Joined by City-County Councillor Jared Evans and Community Allies to Call on Zeller to Support Good Jobs

Indianapolis— On Thursday, March 31st, SEIU Local 1 members, community supporters, City-County Councillor Jared Evans will protest in front of Market Tower in downtown Indianapolis to call on Chicago-based Zeller Realty to support good jobs. The rally comes on the heels of Carrier and UTEC moving over 2,000 jobs out of Indy and to Mexico.

Companies like Zeller Realty, who currently use janitorial contractor CCS (Corporate Cleaning Systems), contribute to a record high number of Hoosiers living in poverty as well as growth in poverty, child poverty and low-income individuals in Indiana since 2007 beyond all neighbor states and the U.S. average.1   The median income in Indiana has also continued to decline since 2000 as Indiana has lost a high number of mid-wage and high-wage jobs.

Indy workers and allies rallying downtown are linking Indy’s struggle for healthy economic development with Zeller’s use of a janitorial contractor that does not create quality jobs. They’re calling on Zeller to replace CCS with a contractor that provides decent wages, quality benefits, as well as union rights, which will then, in turn, contribute to the prosperity of Indy’s neediest communities.

WHAT: Rally to hold Zeller responsible for creating good jobs in Indy

WHEN: Thursday, March 31st at 3:15 p.m.

WHERE: Market Tower, 10 W. Market St Indianapolis, IN 46204

WHO: Dozens of SEIU Local 1 members and Community Supporters, City-County Councillor Jared Evans

VISUALS: Janitors and supporters rallying and chanting with signs and noise-makers in front of Market Tower in downtown Indianapolis.

 

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BACKGROUND:

  • It was announced earlier this year that Carrier and UTEC will be shutting down and moving their Indianapolis plants to Mexico, costing about 2,100 people their jobs
  • Not only does CCS pay poverty wages for workers providing essential services they have also racked up thousands of dollars in fines for endangering janitors on the job, exposing them to seriously dangerous chemicals with no protections.2

1  (The Status of Working Families in Indiana: 2015 Report: http://www.incap.org/iiwf/2015-Status/2015-Status-IIWF-high-res.pdf)

2  (Citations: OSHA Inspection #:312892227 – 04/16/2010- 04/16/2010 – Issuance Date: 05/13/2010) 

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St. Charles Community College Adjunct Professors Vote For Better Future With SEIU Local 1

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CONTACT: Izabela Miltko 708-655-9681, miltkoi@seiu1.org

Kathleen Policy 440-724-9730policyk@seiu1.org

 CHARLES COMMUNITY COLLEGE ADJUNCT PROFESSORS VOTE FOR BETTER FUTURE WITH SEIU LOCAL 1

Adjuncts vote to join together for higher wages, benefits

LOUIS, Mo. – St. Charles Community College adjunct faculty voted on Thursday, March 3, to have a voice on the job by joining Service Employees International Union Local 1. The 332 eligible faculty members will join with thousands of other part-time, non-tenure track instructors and faculty members around the country who have voted to organize for a voice on the job.

“Tonight the faculty majority at St. Charles Community College have changed from itinerate workers to empowered professionals,” said Diana Nash, English professor. “We are joining SEIU Local 1 and the adjunct faculties at St. Louis Community College and Washington University to win the respect that all educators deserve. We look forward to negotiating for job security, higher pay, and benefits.”

Among the issues raised by these faculty members are the low wages, lack of benefits and unpredictable scheduling. 

“I know that my fellow colleagues want to help create a stronger community and make sure adjuncts get the recognition we deserve for the work we do,” said Lisa Butler, Sociology professor. “If a college wants to keep their best educators and add the highest quality new hires, we have to have competitive wages that reflect the quality of an instructors work and contribution to a college.”

SEIU Local 1 has been working with college and university professors throughout the Midwest to give them a voice on the job; address the low compensation for their work; and to ensure greater benefits and job security. Over the past year, adjunct professors at Washington University and St. Louis Community College voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU Local 1 and are currently bargaining their first contract, and others around the Midwest are also working to organize. 

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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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Chicago airport workers protest low wages on MLK Day

WGN2CHICAGO — Nearly 50 airport workers rallied in front of United Airlines downtown headquarters to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with a day of civil disobedience.

The protest was part of a coordinated campaign across the country to draw attention to low wages.

Workers are demanding $15 an hour and the right to unionize.

Click here to read the full story over at WGN TV.

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Airport workers brave cold to call for higher wages

ChiTribChicago’s 24-below-zero wind chills did not halt a protest outside Willis Tower on Monday morning to advocate for a $15-an-hour minimum wage for airport workers.

Organized by the Service Employees International Union Local 1, the protest by about three dozen people outside United Airlines’ headquarters was among nine civil disobedience actions in cities across the U.S. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The SEIU, which is also behind the Fight for $15 campaign for fast-food workers, is pushing for higher pay, benefits and job protections for airport janitors, cabin cleaners, wheelchair agents, security officers and baggage handlers. The SEIU does not represent any United employees.

Read there full story at the Chicago Tribune by clicking here.

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Continuing MLK’s Fight for Justice, O’Hare Airport Workers Arrested Outside of United Airlines Headquarters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, January 18, 2016

CONTACT: Izabela Miltko miltkoi@seiu1.org 708-655-9681

Nick Desideri desiderin@seiu1.org 630-779-5510

Continuing MLK’s Fight for Justice, O’Hare Airport Workers Arrested Outside of United Airlines Headquarters

O’Hare baggage carriers, security officers and passenger service workers honored Dr. King’s legacy by taking a stand for justice and equality at nation’s airports

(CHICAGO)— Building on the success of their unfair labor practice strike in November, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, security officers, wheelchair attendants, and other service workers at O’Hare joined with other airport workers in major cities, including Boston, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Miami, Washington, DC, Seattle, and Portland in a large-scale national civil disobedience. The workers protested the gross injustices and inequality that persist at airports across the country, and called for change in the hopeful and visionary spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I work at O’Hare Airport alongside my aunt and grandma, and we all make minimum wage. We’re sick of struggling to make ends meet. We’re tired of paying out-of-pocket for health care,” said O’Hare Baggage Handler Raquel Brito. “Airlines like United need to take responsibility and stand up for good wages at O’Hare so working people like me can build a future for our families.”

Like the striking Memphis, Tenn., sanitation workers who took action nearly fifty years ago, and with whom Dr. King stood at the end of his life, airport workers make egregiously low wages that keep working families trapped in a crushing cycle of poverty. Contracted airport workers and their allies were arrested as a testament to their commitment to do whatever it takes to win at least $15 and union rights for every airport worker. Despite helping to generate $8 billion dollars in profits for the aviation industry, contracted airport workers are still paid so little that they can’t make ends meet, forcing many of them to rely on public assistance for their basic needs in spite of working full-time jobs.

“As an organization committed to winning economic, racial, and social justice for all, SEIU Local 1 stands with airport workers as they fight for a living wage and union rights,” said SEIU Local 1 Secretary-Treasurer Laura Garza. “Dr. King fought on behalf of working people like those at O’Hare, and today we honor his legacy.”

Following the first-ever national strikes at seven of the country’s busiest hubs in November and a nationwide Thanksgiving fast, these brave men and women—baggage handlers, terminal cleaners, cabin cleaners, skycaps, wheelchair agents, customer service agents, terminal security officers and ramp workers— who keep our airports safe and secure for the traveling public celebrated Dr. King’s life by continuing his legacy of nonviolent civil disobedience in pursuit of justice and equality.

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Around the country, airport workers are coming together in Airport Workers United, a movement of workers and their allies, raising their voices to make our airports safe and secure for passengers, employees and our communities. Contracted airport workers from major airports serve 393 million passengers yearly. By sticking together, speaking out for change, and going on strike, these workers have won wage increases in Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, Minneapolis, Boston, Philadelphia, and Fort Lauderdale. Today, more than 45,000 airport workers nationwide have either received wages increases or other improvements, including health care, paid sick leave and worker retention policies.

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O’Hare International Airport Workers Joined By 35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa to Celebrate MLK Day with Downtown Rally and Civil Disobedience Outside of United Airlines Headquarters

O’Hare International Airport Workers Joined By 35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa to Celebrate MLK Day with Downtown Rally and Civil Disobedience Outside of United Airlines Headquarters

O’Hare baggage carriers, security officers and passenger service workers to honor Dr. King’s legacy by taking a stand for justice and equality at nation’s airports

(CHICAGO)— Building on the success of their unfair labor practice strike in November, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, security officers, wheelchair attendants, and other passenger service workers at O’Hare will join with other airport workers in major cities, including Boston, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Miami, Washington, DC, Seattle, and Portland in a large-scale national civil disobedience. The workers are protesting the gross injustices and inequality that persist at airports across the country, and are calling for change in the hopeful and visionary spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Like the striking Memphis, Tenn., sanitation workers who took action nearly fifty years ago, and with whom Dr. King stood at the end of his life, airport workers make egregiously low wages that keep working families trapped in a crushing cycle of poverty. Contracted airport workers and their allies will be risking arrest as part of their commitment to do whatever it takes to win at least $15 and union rights for every airport worker.  Despite helping to generate $8 billion dollars in profits for the aviation industry, contracted airport workers are still paid so little that they can’t make ends meet, forcing many of them to rely on public assistance for their basic needs in spite of working full-time jobs.

Following the first-ever national strikes at seven of the country’s busiest hubs in November and a nationwide Thanksgiving fast, these brave men and women—baggage handlers, terminal cleaners, cabin cleaners, skycaps, wheelchair agents, customer service agents, terminal security officers and ramp workers— who keep our airports safe and secure for the traveling public are celebrating Dr. King’s life by continuing his legacy of nonviolent civil disobedience in pursuit of justice and equality.

WHAT:        O’Hare International Airport workers rally and protest followed by civil disobedience

WHO:          35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez Rosa, O’Hare baggage handlers, security officers, passenger service workers and community allies

WHEN:        Monday, January 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

WHERE:     United Airlines HQ, Willis Tower 233 S Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606 (Intersection of Franklin and Jackson)

VISUALS:    Airport workers and allies speaking, holding signs, waving flags, marching and engaging in civil disobedience

Background: Around the country, airport workers are coming together in Airport Workers United, a movement of workers and their allies, raising their voices to make our airports safe and secure for passengers, employees and our communities. Contracted airport workers from major airports serve 393 million passengers yearly. By sticking together, speaking out for change, and going on strike, these workers have won wage increases in Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, Minneapolis, Boston, Philadelphia, and Fort Lauderdale. Today, more than 45,000 airport workers nationwide have either received wages increases or other improvements, including health care, paid sick leave and worker retention policies.

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