More than 2,500 Philadelphia building service workers have averted a strike. A contract deal was reached late last night for more janitors and building engineers at Liberty Place, the Comcast Center, and other buildings across Philadelphia.
The four-year agreement improves wages and maintains employer-paid health insurance and pensions. Wayne MacManiman, Mid-Atlantic Director of union local 32-BJ, said the contract is a victory for Philadelphia. He said the money the workers make, and then spend, will help the local economy. “You’ve got these large companies that are making money but you always hear ‘Well it’s time for the employees to pay for their healthcare,'” said MacManiman. “We all know how expensive healthcare is. Hopefully the trend that we can set here is that unions stand up and negotiate and draw the line to say, ‘We may take less in wages but we want the employer to provide healthcare for us.'”Over the next four years, the workers will receive a cumulative pay increase of nearly 7 percent and a $600 bonus the first year.