Posted 8 months ago

Franklin County's child-poverty rate hits 26.5 percent

Ohio’s child poverty rate has been higher than the national rate for six consecutive years. “When will we say stop — no additional Ohio children can fall into poverty?”

Posted 8 months ago

Downtown Janitors Poised to Strike Urge State Auto to Invest in Columbus

Janitors and supporters will hold a press conference in front of State Auto Insurance Companies’ headquarters to give an update on their contract negotiations with some of the largest cleaning contractors in the country. Just two weeks ago, janitors voted to authorize a strike to protect hard-fought modest gains in wages and affordable health insurance. 

Join us in front of 5/3 Bank, 21 E State St in Columbus, Friday August 9th at 3:00 PM. Let’s fight for better jobs and wages.

Posted 9 months ago

Columbus janitors vote to authorize a STRIKE!

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Today, Columbus janitors held an emergency meeting and voted to authorize their bargaining committee to call a strike if necessary. Following their meeting, janitors announced the outcome of their vote to media and community supporters. Janitors were joined by elected leaders, including State Representative Tracy Heard.

Columbus janitors, who clean the majority of the commercial office space downtown, and cleaning contractors returned to the bargaining table on Monday, July 15th. Full-time Columbus janitors are currently paid just over $18,000 a year—well below the poverty level for a family.

Cleaning companies are still threatening to freeze wages for at least 2 years and to slash janitors’ hours. This would have a devastating effect on hundreds of working families in Columbus as janitors would not only lose access to health care, but up to half their income.

“We’re fighting for good jobs for ourselves and for the next generation,” says Dwayne Paige, a Columbus janitor and father. “I want my daughter to have a better future, and that’s not going to happen if wages for working people stay the same while everything else goes up.”

Today’s “yes” vote means that the janitors’ bargaining committee can call a strike if and when it becomes necessary. Janitors and representatives for cleaning contractors are scheduled to meet again on Monday, August 5th.

Posted 10 months ago

In case you missed it: Columbus janitors and community supporters held an area standards picket outside 175 S. Third Street, where employees of Circle Building Services are paid poverty wages and have no access to affordable health care.

Can you take 2 minutes to send an email to the building owner, Tiano & Associates Ltd., telling them to stand up for the janitors employed by Circle in their building?

Posted 10 months ago

Stand up for Janitors at 175 on the Park in Columbus!

On Friday, May 17th, about 50 Columbus janitors and community supporters held an area standards picket outside 175 S. Third Street, where employees of Circle Building Services are paid poverty wages and have no access to affordable health care.

Can you take 2 minutes to send an email to the building owner, Tiano & Associates Ltd., telling them to stand up for the janitors employed by Circle in their building?

Posted 11 months ago

Check out the new video!

Unemployment in Columbus is decreasing while poverty continues to rise. This is because more and more jobs do not pay a living wage.

Columbus service workers are coming together to change this. Janitors – who have now been without a contract for three months – are standing up for justice alongside security officers who protect our downtown buildings, and are organizing to bring good jobs to their communities.

Posted 11 months ago

Columbus janitors, security officers and community members rallied on Monday to call on business leaders to do right by working people! Janitors – who have now been without a contract for three months – are standing up for justice alongside security officers who protect our downtown buildings and are organizing to bring good jobs to their communities.

Posted 1 year ago

Tell Cleaning Contractors: Cincinnati and Columbus Janitors need their health care

Cleaning contractors have demanded a two wage freeze followed by a mere 10-cent raise for janitors, in addition to increases in health care costs and the right to cut janitors’ hours at any time. This would have a devastating effect on hundreds of working families in Ohio as janitors would not only lose access to health care, but up to half their income.

The Guardian has just released an article detailing how some companies are trying to circumvent the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by cutting employees’ hours. Will you take a minute to send an email to cleaning contractors in Cincinnati and Columbus telling them to preserve janitors’ access to health care and pay a living wage?

Posted 1 year ago

Columbus janitors held a prayer vigil downtown yesterday! They joined with local clergy to pray for justice for working families.

Full-time Columbus janitors are on average paid just $18,200 a year - and we know our city can do better. Right now, janitors are in the process of bargaining a new union contract to secure fair wages, full time work, and affordable healthcare. There’s a lot at stake: The concentrated poverty rate in Columbus has nearly doubled since 2000, and this can be attributed in large part to the proliferation of low wage, no-benefit jobs.

Posted 1 year ago

The Guardian: "Obamacare prompts fears for low-wage workers as employers exploit the rules"

Check out this article in The Guardian! A Cincinnati janitor spoke out against her employer wanting to cut her hours, which would keep her employer from having to provide health care under the Affordable Care Act:

In January, a janitor in Cincinnati received a piece of chilling news from one of her superiors, who had just met with upper management. The company, the supervisor said, was considering cutting some full-time employee hours down below 30 per week in order to avoid paying for new healthcare costs associated with Obamacare.

The janitor, who asked to be called Jennifer for fear of retaliation from management, is well into her 40s and now worries for her livelihood.

After over six years of working for ABM Industries, a company worth $4bn, she works full-time for $9.80 an hour. She says that with so many bills, including several monthly prescriptions, she often finds herself so short on money that she cannot eat satisfactorily. “I want to – I need to – work full-time” Jennifer said. She is a member of the local Service Employees International Union, which has struggled to bargain with ABM for better wages and steady hours.

"Every penny counts for me," Jennifer said. "I’m working full-time and I’m still struggling to make ends meet. If I got cut down to 20 or 25 hours … oh my God, I would have no money to live on. I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills; I’d hardly afford to eat or pay for my medication. I’d be forced to look for another job."