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Janitors call for a Renewed Prosperity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Published 9:31 AM Eastern - Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Contact: Sarah Betancourt, 802-999-2400, sbetancourt@seiu615.org

Boston, MA- On Tuesday May 1st, property service workers will come together with community allies to march for the 99% across Boston. This May Day is the International Day of Workers, and is particularly special because we honor the hundredth anniversary of the Bread and Roses Strike of 1912. In January of 1912, thousands of factory workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts began to strike in appeal of fair wages and dignified conditions. A hundred years later, we continue this struggle for an America where prosperity is shared, and an America where the rights of all people are respected. In 2002, thousands of janitors in the Boston region went on strike to improve the standards of the cleaning industry.

The corporate real estate industry owns office buildings across the country and has amassed billions of dollars in cash that could be used to create jobs and raise wages and benefits for workers who clean our buildings. 31 St. James Street, owned by Capitol Properties, is not protecting its standards by contracting the building's cleaning services to an irresponsible contractor that pays lower wages with little or no benefits.

Meanwhile, Ludivia Velez has worked for 31 St. James for 11 years as an office cleaner. She and her husband bought a home to raise their son in five years ago, and now face possible foreclosure if she loses her job. The mortgage is $1,900.00 a month, and Ludivia's family cannot afford this on one paycheck. "I just want to keep my job. I just want the assurance that I am not going to lose my home because of this," Ludivia said.
What: Rallies at various locations throughout May 1st

Why: Over the past several years, the janitorial industry as a whole, including workers, cleaning contractors, building owners, elected leaders, and the Boston community at large- have come together to ensure that Boston is lifting the standards of the janitorial industry. We are doing our part to make this economy work- now it's time for the real estate industry to do its part-by creating good jobs and investing in our communities.

Location/Time:

31 St. James Street, Boston at 4:30pm

Who: SEIU 615 workers and community supporters

Visuals: Marchers will carry signs saying, "Caring for our families," and "Quality Service." Giant puppets will proceed between locations. Buttons with 99% messaging will be distributed

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