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Detroit Janitors Authorize Strike for Aug. 1

August 4, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

DETROIT, Mich.—Service Employees International Union Local 1 janitors announced July 23 that they had voted to authorize a strike when their contract expires Aug. 1. The union, which represents about 1,700 janitors at downtown office buildings, city schools, and the airport, is seeking a three-year deal with a $15-an-hour wage. Most of the janitors start at $9.45, Local 1 spokesperson Izabela Miltko-Ivkovich told Michigan Radio, and many rely on public assistance despite working full-time. “What we’re seeing in Detroit, there’s so much redevelopment happening, there’s so much more business coming to Detroit, buildings are doing very well, they’re booming,” she said. “However, the long-life Detroiters that have been there their entire life, unfortunately, their wages do not reflect the benefits of that redevelopment.” Most of the union janitors work for three cleaning companies: Professional Building Maintenance/Preferred Building Services, ABM Janitorial Services, and GDI Omni. Read more

August 4, 2018

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