Arlington, VA – Virginia State Senator Adam Ebbin will help mark the 29th anniversary of “Justice for Janitors Day” by rallying with dozens of 32BJ SEIU janitors in the heart of Crystal City during Thursday afternoon’s rush hour. The rally is in anticipation ofnegotiations for a new four-year union contract that expires on October 15, 2019 covering 11,000 workers in the D.C. area and Baltimore, including nearly 4,500 in Northern Virginia.
The men and women who do back-breaking work to keep our offices clean go unnoticed, yet our local economy could not function without them,” said Senator Ebbin. “What’s good for workers is good for everyone. Paying office cleaners fairly is a smart investment because it means dependability, lower turnover and familiarity with their buildings that is irreplaceable. We know it’s not too much to ask that cleaning contractors pay workers enough to support their families and build their communities.”
On June 15th, 25 years ago, more than 400 commercial cleaners in Los Angeles joined forces in a peaceful rally for a fair contract and a union. Contractors had thrown out the union, cut pay to minimum wage and stripped janitors of all of their hard-earned benefits. As the workers locked arms to cross the street in L.A.’s Century City, they were severely beaten by police officers. Thirty-eight marchers were wounded and arrested, and from that point on, June 15 has been memorialized as “Justice for Janitors Day.”
Commemorative events are taking place in 33 cities nationwide during the week to celebrate decades of building justice. More than 134,000 janitors will bargain contracts over the next two years across the country.
“Every year, it’s very important for us to remember those who have sacrificed to advance the Justice for Janitors movement,” said 32BJ Vice President who helped lead the “Justice for Janitors” movement as a D.C. Bell Multicultural High School student working as a part-time janitor. “These men and were the original Fight for $15 warriors, fighting tirelessly for better wages and working conditions to sustain their families. We want to show that we can win similar struggles, in fast food, in health care and in security industries.”
With more than 173,000 members in nine states, including 20,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.
MEDIA ADVISORY FOR:
4:00-5:30 PM on Thursday, June 13, 2019
Crystal City (1800 S. Bell St., Arlington, VA)