The Philadelphia cleaners will receive a 18.6% pay raise within the life of the four-year contract, substantial bonuses during periods of soaring inflation, and increased retirement contributions, among several other benefits. Similar increases were negotiated for over 10,000 workers in cities like Pittsburgh, Washington D.C.
Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union, said:
“This new agreement is not just a contract but a real victory. We rallied with 32BJ SEIU janitors in Philadelphia during our congress with a message that we will rise together. This win in Philadelphia and beyond shows that rising together is not just a slogan but a reality. We rise together and we win together!”
The union’s contract in Philadelphia was set to expire on 15 October, and a strike loomed for buildings in the core of Center City.
Tiffany Cherry, a 32BJ Cleaner and Bargaining Committee Member, stated, “Coming together and winning a contract that permits us to provide for our children and parallels inflation is a substantial achievement, especially in these times.”
The agreement builds on decades of organizing and activity by cleaners in the region, enhance working conditions and remuneration for the janitors, such as maintaining employer-paid family health coverage, instating an additional paid holiday, and assuring all-encompassing sick and disability coverage for all members.