Hundreds of janitors from SEIU Local 1, joined by women’s rights activists and other supporters, rallied outside the Chicago Board of Trade building Thursday afternoon.
In an effort to tie pending contract negotiations with International Women’s Day and women’s equality issues, such as equal pay for equal work, the group is demanding “fair wage increases.”
“Women today are still paid just 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts are paid,” said Aleksandra Figus, who has been a janitor for 28 years. “But unionization raises female workers’ wages by $2 an hour.”
In a press release, the group said they also want Illinois’ corporations to create more jobs, while raising wages and rejecting tax breaks.
FINDLAY, Ohio—Members of United Steelworkers Local 207L, locked out of their jobs for three months by Cooper Tire and Rubber Co., approved a new five-year contract Feb. 27 by 627 to 321.
The lockout began Nov. 28 after workers rejected 606 to 305 the company’s “last, best and final offer.”
The company had demanded a wage scale with undisclosed piece rates and productivity standards. This was removed from the new proposal and replaced with “minimum performance levels” ranging from 80 to 85 percent of the average. The contract also dropped a proposed five-tier classification system.
But lower pay and benefits for new hires was retained. Workers hired after Jan. 1, 2009, have a starting wage of 70 percent of pay of other workers and cap out at 85 percent of the previous pay scale. New hires receive lump sum bonuses of $1,200 in 2012 and 2013 and hourly wage increases totaling 45 cents over the following three years. New hires start out at $13 per hour.
Instead of a wage increase, workers hired before 2009 receive three annual bonuses of $800, and undefined lump sums in the final two years.
Defined benefit pensions for workers hired before 2009 are maintained at the previous level. Newer workers will only get individual 401(k) retirement accounts.