What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 22, 2006

Pittsburgh's SEIU Local 3 in Time Magzine & BLOCK PARTY!

Justice for Janitors: A Tale of Two Cities

I've loved these guys ever since they came on strong for Howard Dean. From SEIU Local 3's press release on the TIME Magazine story:

In the current issue of TIME magazine that hits the newsstands today, TIME magazine staff writer Jeremy Caplan compares janitors in two similar rustbelt cities, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, and describes the positive effect that the Union, SEIU Local 3, has had on wages and benefits for Pittsburgh janitors. He also highlights how the better wages for janitors have improved "…the lives of their families and the economic and social welfare of the cities in which they live."

The article features two janitors - Robyn Gray from Pittsburgh and Craig Jones from Cincinnati. Craig earns $6.50 an hour with no benefits and only part time work. This gives him a $260 biweekly paycheck. Very little is left over after his monthly rent of $215. Robyn, in contrast, makes $12.52 and hour with health care and vacation time. Because of Robyn's job, she and her husband have been able to send their two daughters to college and own their own home.

The article also states that Pittsburgh neighborhoods where janitors live have benefited from their higher wages and benefits. It cites an increase in home ownership, a 3% increase in median household income, and a decrease in families below the poverty line. The job turnover rate for Cincinnati janitors can be as high as 300% leading to economic dislocation in the neighborhoods where janitors live. In Pittsburgh, turnover rates are a tenth of those in Cincinnati.
Read the article HERE and then attend Justice for Janitors Day "Justice Block Party for Fair Development Downtown" on June 30.

The event which is cosponsored by Local 3, the League of Young of Young Voters, The Merton Center and the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network, is celebrating fair development, fair transit and fair employment in one of Pittsburgh's most important neighborhoods - downtown. The event is being held on the 600 block of Smithfield Street from 9:00 until 3:00.


Sean McDaniel said...

i'm glad to see that seiu is helping guys (and women) like craig. they fought hard for what they earn...and lest anyone thinks that $12 an hour is big time money...that's a yearly but not nearly princely sum of $25,000. i'd love to see how money congressman who voted against the minimum wage increase would dare to raise a family on $25,000 a year.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me how Craig is doing? I read the article when it came out months ago and saved it ever since because I believed Craig deserved better.