We have to work together so we’re able to keep the things we have, like our health care and other benefits.

~ Jay Etheridge, 32BJ Member, New York

Newsroom

Newsroom Feature
Thousands Rally for Immigration Reform in Nation’s Capital, Legislators Arrested
After members of Congress from both parties spoke of the need to pass immigration reform, about 200 political and religious leaders led the crowd to the nation’s Capitol and blocked traffic in an act of civil disobedience. Read More »
Union targets St. Louis airport contractor
A union based in the Northeast is going after a St. Louis-based private contractor that serves airports around the U.S., including Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Read More »
Airport Workers Plan Disruptions in Nine U.S. Cities on MLK Day
Workers from nine U.S. airports are planning to block bridges, march through terminals and protest at airline headquarters during a day of civil disobedience on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Read More »
Proposed Laws Could Change Lives of D.C.’s Hourly Workers
The D.C. Council is weighing new labor bills that, if passed, would cement the District’s ranking as one of the most progressive labor markets in the country, advocates say. Read More »
On Eve Of Michelle Obama, Prince Harry Visit, Janitors At Fort Belvoir Military Base Strike Over ‘Drastic’ Cuts In Hours
When the first lady and second lady welcome Britain’s Prince Harry to a northern Virginia military base Wednesday, they may want to tell him to avoid the bathroom. Sixty-six janitors at the U.S. Army’s Fort Belvoir went on strike Tuesday after saying their contractor illegally cut working hours. Read More »
Washington-Area Airport Workers Join Fight for $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage
A push for a $15-an-hour minimum wage for the lowest-paid airport workers across the United States has landed in Washington. Read More »
Airport Workers Rally for Better Wages and Benefits
Wearing purple T-shirts that read “Fighting for $15 and union rights at the airport,” about 200 airport workers from across the country rallied at National Airport on Wednesday afternoon for better wages and benefits. Read More »
Cleaners’ Union Approves New Contract for Baltimore Workers
A union that represents about 700 commercial office cleaners in Baltimore on Saturday ratified a new contract, which provides workers with an additional sick day and annual wage increases of 50 cents per hour for the next four years. Read More »
Montgomery County Joins Other Localities Providing Paid Sick Leave
The Montgomery County Council, heeding a call from the Obama administration, passed paid-sick-leave legislation Tuesday that will enable workers to stay home when they are ill or need to take care of a sick child — without losing pay. Read More »
Whoever Cleans Your Office Is Probably Not Getting Full-Time Hours Or Benefits
What does it take to support a family when your work is cleaning offices in Baltimore? Read More »
Office Cleaners Rally In Bethesda for Full-Time Salaries, Benefits
About two dozen office janitors and cleaners marched Tuesday through Bethesda’s Metro Plaza, demanding more full-time positions and the health benefits that come with them amid tense negotiations over their union’s next collective bargaining agreement. Read More »
Contract Talks Open for 10,500 Cleaners in Washington, Northern Virginia, Montgomery County & Baltimore
Negotiations will begin today for a new union contract covering over 4,000 commercial cleaners in Washington, D.C., nearly 4,000 cleaners in Northern Virginia, over 1,500 cleaners in Montgomery County, Maryland and 700 Baltimore cleaners. Read More »
Harbor East Hires New Security Firm
The management company for Harbor East said Monday it has contracted with a Baltimore-based firm to provide security at its properties, ending an agreement with a Kentucky firm that had come under fire from union organizers. Read More »
Baltimore Security Workers Fight for Higher Wages, Increased Benefits
Security workers are fighting for higher wages and increased benefits from two major security contractors operating in Baltimore City, after organizing under a property service workers union. Read More »
Harbor East Security Guards Protest
Purple-shirted employees of the security firm charged with guarding Harbor East filled the neighborhood with their cries Thursday, calling for union recognition as they circled the golden monument at its center. Read More »
Howard University Gives Its Janitors a Crack at the Middle Class. Now, That Could Change.
Sitting beside a flagpole on the campus of Howard University, Reina Lopez stared across at a man in a black shirt and khakis standing nearby, her gaze full of reproach. Read More »
Janitors strike at Fort Belvoir, picket outside base
About 70 janitors went on strike Tuesday at the Fort Belvoir military installation, saying that they are not being paid for some work they perform and that their hours have been drastically cut. Read More »
City Council Calls on Companies to Pay Security Guards More
The Baltimore City Council is unanimously calling for area companies to pay their security guards more. Read More »
Vincent Gray Picks Up More Labor Endorsements
The D.C./Maryland Council of the Service Employees International Union gave Gray its nod Monday, citing, among other things, his move to hire unionized security officers in city facilities and his support for granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Read More »
$10 An Hour, With No Way Out
On a recent tour of his professional stomping grounds, Barnett, 20, points out many of the oddities he has observed since taking the job six months ago, patrolling about four blocks of Harbor East. Read More »
Howard University Maintenance Workers Rally To Save Jobs
Maintenance workers at Howard University rallied today in an effort to save their jobs at the financially troubled institution. Read More »
Workers’ Advocates Win the Minimum-Wage War After Losing a Battle
It's been a roller-coaster year for advocates of a higher minimum wage in the District. Read More »
Activists Launch Ballot Initiative to Raise DC Minimum Wage
Activists and labor organizers launched an initiative Tuesday to get a referendum on the ballot in 2014 to raise the minimum wage in the nation’s capital to $12.50 an hour, and the hourly rate for tipped workers to $8.75, by 2017. Read More »
Low-Wage Workers Continue to Feel the Sting of Government Shutdown, Worry about Holidays
“If the direct government employees got paid, the contracted-out federal workers shouldn’t be seen as collateral damage. They should also get paid,” said Jaime Contreras, capital area director of Local 32BJ. Read More »
WPFW Interview on DC Driver’s Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
32BJ spokesperson Julie Karant appeared on WPFW's Community Watch and Comment show to discuss the recently passed DC law that will create a special type of driver’s license for undocumented immigrants. Read More »
D.C. Approves Driver’s Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
"We applaud the Council for allowing aspiring Americans to legally and safely drive their kids to school, buy groceries, go to church and to the doctor," said Jaime Contreras. Read More »
Union Calls for Independent Review of Harbor Point Toxins
Union organizers called on the developers of the Harbor Point site to submit to an outside environmental review, staging a small demonstration Saturday with a pair of workers dressed in hazmat suit costumes. Read More »
New Coalition in D.C. Seeks Increase in Minimum Wage, Campaign Finance Reform
A new coalition of labor unions and other liberal groups has launched in the District, promising to move elected officials toward a significant increase in the minimum wage and comprehensive campaign finance reforms. Read More »
Thousands Rally for Immigration Reform in Nation’s Capital, Legislators Arrested
After members of Congress from both parties spoke of the need to pass immigration reform, about 200 political and religious leaders led the crowd to the nation’s Capitol and blocked traffic in an act of civil disobedience. Read More »
Shutdown Story: How Am I Going to Look After My Family?
Karina Vazquez, a member of 32BJ SEIU, cleans offices for government officials as a contracted janitor at the IRS building in Washington, D.C. She supports three children with her salary, but has been told not to report to work. Karina is the reality of the government shutdown for many low paid workers. Read More »
Thousands Rally Nationwide in Support of an Immigration Overhaul
Thousands of supporters of an immigration overhaul held rallies on Saturday at more than 150 sites in 40 states, trying to pressure Congress, despite the partisan turmoil in Washington, to focus on passing a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants here illegally. Read More »
Local 32BJ Grows by Organizing
“Unless we’re organizing, we’re going backwards,” says vice-president Rob Hill, 32BJ’s organizing director. Read More »
Maryland-DC Council of SEIU Backs Brown-Ulman Ticket
SEIU backed Brown for his work on health care reform, worker training and increasing the state’s minimum wage, Jaime Contreras, president of the Maryland-DC council, said. Read More »
DREAMer Pleads Against Dad’s Deportation; Groups Announce Major Immigration Events
“It’s not who we are as Americans to relegate men and women into a second-class group of people”, said labor leader Jaime Contreras, vice-president and capital area director for 32BJ SEIU. Read More »
On Women’s Equality Day, a Push for a More Inclusive Immigration Reform Policy
Chants of “Si se puede” filled a Two Amigos restaurant in Virginia as women’s rights activists called for a more inclusive immigration reform bill. Read More »
Wolf at the Door: Immigrant Rights Issue Follows Lawmakers Home
Five dozen immigration rights activists picketed outside Rep. Frank R. Wolf’s Herndon office Wednesday, demanding he vote for a bill that would extend citizenship rights to 11 million illegal immigrants — a scene that is being repeated outside countless Republican congressional district offices this summer. Read More »
Fight For Immigration Reform Follows Virginia Republicans To District Offices
"They're going to have a rude awakening because everywhere they go on vacation in their district offices, we're going to be there," says Jaime Contreras, vice president of a local chapter of the SEIU. Read More »
Immigrants, 32BJ SEIU Applaud D.C. Council’s Passage of REAL ID, Allowing Undocumented Immigrants to Obtain a Driver’s License or ID Card
The D.C. City Council passed historic legislation making District residents eligible for a driver’s license or D.C. identification card regardless of citizenship or immigration status, making the District safer and giving residents greater economic opportunity. Read More »
Fort Belvoir Janitors Win Back Pay
Nearly 70 janitors at Fort Belvoir will get more than $300,000 in back pay and benefits because the private contractor that employs them failed to pay the correct hourly wage, all required holiday pay, and health and welfare benefits since September, according to their union. Read More »
Showing Grass-Roots Support for Immigration Overhaul
In Richmond, Va., about 150 people held a small rally and marched to the headquarters of the Republican Party. In a speech, Jaime Contreras, vice president of a local chapter of the Service Employees International Union, or S.E.I.U., said to Republicans, “There’s no honor in being on the wrong side of history as the last Read More »
Tens of thousands rally nationwide in support of comprehensive immigration measures
WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of immigrants and activists rallied nationwide Wednesday in a coordinated set of protests aimed at pressing Congress to approve immigration measures that would grant 11 million immigrants living here illegally a path toward citizenship. Organizers said demonstrations were taking place in at least 18 states and in Washington, D.C., where Read More »
Hope Leaves the Shadows at the Capitol
The mood on Wednesday on the west lawn of the Capitol was jubilant, just as it had been in January when people in overcoats and blankets squinted in frosty sunlight at Jumbotrons showing President Obama’s second inauguration. This time, the day was loose and bright and tropical, made for the banishing of shadows. The expected Read More »
US Capital Prepares for Major Immigration Rally
Jaime Contreras hasn’t eaten much lately. He’s been too busy preparing for Wednesday’s “All in for Citizenship” rally expected to draw tens of thousands of immigration activists to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Read More »
Thousands Expected to March for Immigration Reform Wednesday
Thousands of advocates are expected to descend on the nation’s capital Wednesday afternoon to press for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship. Read More »
D.C. Immigrant Activists Optimistic Ahead of Wednesday Rally
For Zoila Argueta, the hard part is over. Thirty years after she fled her native, war-torn El Salvador for the United States, leaving behind her three young children and cleaning offices to send money home, she is now an American citizen with grandchildren and a settled, secure life. Read More »
Fort Belvoir Janitors Go On Strike
About 70 janitorial workers from the Fort Belvoir military base have gone on strike to protest hours, wages and benefits they say are being unjustly cut, prompting both a local union and U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Dist. 8) to seek action on their behalf. The workers are employed at the military base through a contract Read More »
Memo to Congress: Give Low-Wage Workers a Fair Deal; Pass the American Jobs Act
Our communities face stubbornly high unemployment, low wages and crushing poverty. Many jobs pay wages so low that employees get food stamps and public health care, while profitable corporations game the system so they pay no taxes. Read More »
Jaime Contreras of SEIU 32BJ Says Union Has Paid Employee Health Benefits That Employer Escab Should Cover
Until the past few months, Gabriel Rivera says he really enjoyed his job as a custodian at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he’s worked for the past few years. Read More »
Contractor Bounces Paychecks For Walter Reed Janitors
Officials with the union representing janitors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda say the company that bounced their paychecks still owes them. Workers say they have gone unpaid for more than two weeks. Gabriel Rivera is one of about 250 workers who haven’t been paid by their employer Escab Enterprises. Escab provides Read More »
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