Columbus Downtown Janitors Announce Plan To Strike

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The union that represents Columbus city janitors says that they will go on strike.

In a news conference Friday, the group said talks between them and cleaning company representatives broke down last week.

“The offer that janitors made on Wednesday would have protected full time hours and access affordable health care, and guaranteed modest wage increases that would have set hundreds of working families on a path out of poverty,” said Tyler French, SEIU Local 1 regional coordinator.

The dispute is between Service Employees International Union Local One and janitorial contractors who oversee services in downtown buildings.

Janitors say negotiations took a turn for the worse this week and they have no choice but to hit the picket line.

The union, which represents around 1,000 janitors, said no strike date has been set.

The lead negotiator for the Columbus Area Service Contractors Association released the following statement to 10TV:

“The Columbus Area Service Contractors Association is fully committed to reaching an agreement in the mutual best interest of all parties, including employees, customers and contract cleaning companies alike.  Over the last two years of the collective bargaining agreement, many of our employees have received wage increases totaling over 18%, as well as paid vacation and holiday time and other benefits.  The union’s latest proposal failed to recognize these prior substantial increases received by employees.  We recognize that, in these economic times, customers need to manage costs very carefully.  We will continue to work hard at the bargaining table to achieve a successful resolution and remain convinced that such a resolution is possible."

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