Janitors are fighting for an economy that works for ALL Coloradans not just the wealthy few!
Not so long ago hard work was valued and the American Dream – a nice house, a secure retirement, enough to meet emergency expenses – was a reality for full-time, working people in Colorado. With skyrocketing cost of living in the Denver metro area, the American dream has become more difficult to achieve.
Today, the median wage for Coloradans is stuck at what it was in 1985 (when adjusted for inflation). The hard working janitors who sacrificed so their companies could survive the recession now deserve living wage jobs in a thriving commercial real estate industry.
In a survey given to members, 71% of respondents cited the issue most important to them is the cost of living.
84% report having a $100 or less if left over after paying their bills, 56% report having $0.
18% of respondents having used payday loan services.
Justice for Janitors is a movement of 2,400 hardworking, mostly immigrant women, united to build a more secure life for their families and a better Denver-area economy. With a janitor workforce in Denver that is 40% female and 99% people of color, Janitors and their families across the country are fighting to improve their jobs. Janitors need to work 51 hours a week to afford living. They are SEIU Local 105 members improving standards for ALL working people in Colorado and a stronger local economy.
Our campaign goals are simple and fair:
- A living wage including a path to $15 an hour, to keep up with the skyrocketing cost of living, including rent in the Denver Metro area.
- Fair benefits including affordable healthcare coverage for their children.
- Safe working conditions that show respect for workers and keep workloads realistic and manageable.
- Respect janitors are people working to support their families. Respect us as people and value our work.
These goals are important because hard work deserves:
Self-Sufficiency. Full-time workers should not have to rely on to put food on the table. Hard working people should never have to choose between paying rent OR paying for medicine.
While the federal minimum wage was only $3.35 per hour in 1981 and is currently $7.25 per hour in real dollars, when adjusted for inflation, the current federal minimum wage would need to be more than $8 per hour to equal its buying power of the early 1980s and more nearly $11 per hour to equal its buying power of the late 1960s. (“Minimum Wage Mythbusters.” United States Department of Labor. N.d. Web. 4 April 2016.)
Colorado’s commercial real estate market is booming. Many of these commercial real estate companies are making millions with the increases in rent since 2008. The increase in wages and benefits to raise standards for hard working janitors would cost just pennies.
Janitors know hard work and we always do our part. We are mothers and fathers who do what is needed to support our families and now we want to create a more secure future for ourselves and our children.
Coloradans are ready to rise together to transform a system that enriches the 1% at the expense of the rest of us. We invite all working people in Colorado to join our effort to raise standards in Colorado. #RaiseAmerica
We believe it is only fair that businesses reward hard work, share prosperity and build a better Colorado.
Working to #RaiseAmerica with Good Jobs and Fair Wages
As the national movement for good jobs and fair wages swells, over 130,000 janitors from across the country are standing up to raise standards and improve jobs in our communities. With the community by our side, our “Raise America” campaign is gaining momentum along with the Fight for $15.
Locally, janitors across the Denver metro area have joined together to raise standards, improve their jobs, and highlight the issues associated with janitorial contractors.
Allies around the country and in Colorado are stepping up in support of the need to increase wages to $15. In a thriving local economy, janitors, security officers, and their allies look to building owners and managers to invest in good jobs for property service workers. Now is the time for building owners in our community to do the right thing.
As Janitors prepare to bargain a new contract in 2016, we call on building owners to raise standards, improve working conditions, and provide a fair wage for the janitors who clean and keep our buildings safe.
For a better economy, good jobs and healthy, safe buildings, join us in our effort to #RaiseAmerica.
For more information on #RaiseAmerica: Justice for Janitors Campaign history and national news, check out the SEIU.org J4J site, When Police Beat Janitors but Janitors Won Justice page or history.