Winning in the 1st State

by Daisy Cruz
Mid-Atlantic District Director

The new year is off to a good start for commercial office cleaners in Delaware. We now have a strong, new four-year agreement thanks to months of hard work in the buildings and at the bargaining table. The deal guarantees strong yearly wage increases, provides an additional holiday and increases the number of personal days. Full-time workers also keep their individual employer-paid healthcare benefits.

Delaware cleaners work hard maintaining many prominent buildings in Delaware from Bank of America to AstraZeneca. Some of the world’s largest corporations have headquarters in Wilmington. The men and women who clean these buildings deserve a living wage and respect.

Cleaners deserve to be compensated for the grueling work you do. That’s why the Delaware bargaining team was relentless during negotiations. When contractors only offered a dime raise, the bargaining team pushed back and demanded more so cleaners can continue to support themselves and their families.

Over the years, Delaware cleaners fought hard to organize and bring respect and dignity to their industry. In 2008, before the workers brought in 32BJ, most cleaners made $7.50 an hour. Cleaners had no rights on the job and faced retaliation for speaking up. Since that time, wages have increased to more than $10 and will be more than $12 at the end of the contract; cleaners have a voice on the job, respect and benefits. These are good jobs, and we are committed to keeping them that way.

Delaware has added its name to the long list of cities across the nation winning strong contracts. But, the fight is not over. We will continue to apply pressure to elected officials to raise the wages for all workers. Raising wages isn’t just about supporting our families; it’s about our neighbors and their families too. We are determined to Raise America, one contract, and one fight at a time.