by Jaime Contreras
32BJ Vice President and CAD Director
As we begin 2016 and look forward to everything a new year can bring, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on what we, together, have achieved as a union in the Capital Area District throughout 2015.
We won two big contract campaigns, with 10,500 commercial cleaners winning new 4-year contracts providing a $2 hourly pay increase over the life of the deal, while private security officers in Baltimore won their first union contract, providing hourly wages increase of $2.10 by the end of the five-year contract in July, 2020!
More than 2,000 airport workers at Reagan National Airport joined the national fight for $15. Hundreds of airport workers participated in a national Thanksgiving fast and received support from several elected officials and clergy, including SEIU-endorsed presidential candidate, Hilary Clinton.
It was an important year in politics, and 32BJ made a big impact thanks to you. We helped pass Montgomery County Council’s “Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act,” which will give workers up to seven days off a year. In Virginia, we kicked off a new coalition of immigrant rights and labor organizations that share concerns about issues impacting working families. The coalition helped four endorsed candidates in the primary election for Arlington County Board and other state level races.
Hard work by 32BJ volunteers clearly made the difference between winning and losing for D.C. Council endorsed candidate, Ruby May, who won by less than 100 votes. We were also instrumental in helping to elect Brandon Todd to Council in this year’s special election.
CAD members care about social justice, and we stood with several U.S. Congressmen and Senators in calling for help for Puerto Rican families hurt by the financial crisis, and marched for justice for Freddie Gray in Baltimore – local communities deserve to live free of profiling, criminalization and fear.
This will be a big year for 32BJ in the Capital Area District. Thousands of security officers will be fighting for a new contract and we’ll continue pushing for legislation that benefits working families, like the upcoming full-time bill for commercial cleaners in DC .
I wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe new year, and I look forward to working with you to deliver wins for all workers in 2016.