Union janitors march in protest through Center City

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 Protestors set up a brief picket line outside the Academy of Natural Sciences (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Protestors set up a brief picket line outside the Academy of Natural Sciences (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

About 100 janitors marched through the streets of Center City Wednesday,  calling for better wages for those who clean office buildings — union or not. 

Members of Service Employees International Union 32-BJ started outside the Academy of Natural Sciences, where they claim the contractor pays subpar wages to the men and women who clean the facility.

Daisy Cruz of the union says it’s a matter of fairness.

“Nobody should be able to worry about if they are going to pay their bills or put food on the table,” she said.  “Nobody should worry about what school their kids are going to or if they are going to have a good school.  We have to be not only lift ourselves up protect our jobs but also tell these companies when you are in Philadelphia we’re going to create good jobs.”

The company criticized by the union did not respond to requests for comment.

Union janitors say they earn $15 an hour and claim some cleaners earn just about minimum wage, which is $7.25.

The march ended outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where the large Bio conference is taking place.  The union says the same cleaning service has contracts with companies participating in the event.

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