In a rally downtown today, thousands of property service workers from Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Connecticut and the Washington, D.C. area called for a fair contract.
Rep. Bob Brady (D-PA) and Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, joined the group in their plea for a fair wage increase and secure benefits.
The current contract will expire on October 16 at 12:01 a.m. and negotiations began on September 8. Leaders from both 32BJ, the cities largest private-sector union, and Building Operators Labor Relations, Inc. (BOLR), an organization representing Philadelphia’s major commercial office building owners, managers, and cleaning companies, have been in talks.
Workers have voted to give their bargaining committee the power to call for a strike, which could affect over 100 buildings, including Liberty Tower, Comcast Center and Commerce Square.
“Our members are determined to protect their good jobs,” said Wayne MacManiman, Mid-Atlantic director for 32BJ, “which are critical to their families, their communities, and to the thousands of tenants who depend on these workers’ services.”
Philadelphia and the Washington, D.C. area are the first cities up for contract negotiations this fall. Altogether, 60,000 commercial members are working towards this campaign to secure new contracts.