Everybody should have a union…. It gives us a voice. It gives you the power to change things that need to be changed.

~ Leslie Williams, 32BJ Member, New Jersey


Newsroom Feature
Report Blasts Bloomberg Administration For Schools In Disrepair
A city union is using language from the city’s own inspections to detail what it calls decaying schools in the poorest neighborhoods. Read More »
Charter schools drain much needed funds
IN PHILADELPHIA, 2,700 blue-collar workers recently agreed to contribute more than $100 million from their own pockets to save the city’s schools and help close the school district’s budget shortfall. For these men and women who work every day to keep our schools clean and safe, this is a very real sacrifice. Most earn less Read More »
JFK’s security a dangerous mess: guards
Security guards at JFK who keep unauthorized vehicles from restricted areas are routinely sent into the field with malfunctioning radios and improper training — and aren’t even replaced during their breaks, they claim in a scathing complaint to the TSA. The shocking claims come amid tense scrutiny of the airport’s security systems after a stranded Read More »
Bicyclists pedal for unionization
A couple dozen Service Employees International Union 32BJ members took to the bike paths and roadways on Aug. 10 to protest developer TF Cornerstone, which they allege does not easily allow workers to unionize. Bicylists, who wore bright T-shirts that read “$2 for the American Dream,” began at 27th Street and Park Avenue in front Read More »
Critical Mass-it’s not just for anarchists, union workers take it to the street on bikes.
Here is a press release from today’s union bike protest: JANITORS, BIKERS AND “THE ETHICIST” RIDE AGAINST RACE TO THE BOTTOM IN NYC LUXURY BUILDINGS -Working Conditions at some Cornerstone Luxury Residential Buildings Denounced as Substandard- New York, NY – Cyclists swamped Park Avenue South today in the family-friendly Ride for the American Dream protest Read More »
Montgomery County Council committee backs displaced service worker bill
A Montgomery County Council committee approved a bill on Monday that a union says is needed because of its employees’ unstable working environment, but that many local business groups are calling anti-business. The Displaced Service Workers bill, backed by a national union that supports service workers, SEIU 32BJ, forces companies that end their contract with Read More »
Montgomery County Bill Would Protect Low-Income Workers
Montgomery County Council members are squaring off over a bill that would protect low wage service workers in the county, although it likely won’t be addressed during the council’s current legislative session. The bill would guarantee job protection for low-wage service workers, such as office cleaners and security guards, when an employer’s service contract is Read More »
Miami Minimum Wage Protest: 7 People We Met At The Rally
Wielding signs under the blazing July sun, 200 people rallied at Bayfront Park Tuesday afternoon to encourage Congress to increase the federal minimum wage. Members of local advocacy group 1Miami were joined by other supporters and minimum wage workers to argue against keeping wages low in a time when cost of living continues to increase. Read More »
Op-ed: “Our Wages in Miami Are Too Small To Survive On”
In the news, we see many stories about the big companies whose offices we clean in the Southeast Financial Center in downtown Miami. Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase are some of richest businesses in the world. JPMorgan Chase, which runs the company that owns the Southeast Financial Center, has so much money that it Read More »
Workers rally in downtown Miami to demand a higher minimum wage
Three years after completing a tour of duty in Iraq, Marcus Edgerson is poor. The 24-year-old veteran supports his wife and 4-month-old son working part-time at the Walmart in Hallandale Beach. He earns $7.70 an hour — three cents more than Florida’s minimum wage. “I fought for my country so we could live well, but Read More »
Trenton school security guards urge Trenton education board to reconsider contract with U.S. Security Associates
Wearing purple “Respect Security” T-shirts, a group of school security guards told the school board tonight that they lacked working walkie-talkies and on-site training outlined in the board’s contract with the district’s security contractor. Fifteen security officers and union representatives from SEIU 32BJ demanded district officials look into what they called contract violations and reconsider Read More »
Philly SRC signs off on contract with blue-collar union
After months of negotiations and protests over possible layoffs to cut costs at the cash-strapped city schools, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission unanimously approved a contract with its blue-collar union Monday that preserves jobs and provides $100 million in savings over the next four years. Pedro Ramos, chairman of the SRC, praised both the district’s Read More »
Working N.Y., time to fight back
About 18 months ago, on his way out the door, then-Gov. David Paterson bowed to lobbying pressure from Con Edison and business groups and vetoed a bill that would have required gas and electric companies to pay prevailing wages to contractors who perform janitorial and security services. Many of the 2,000 workers at issue made Read More »
Many Philadelphia School District Blue Collar Worker Jobs Remain Up In The Air
The fate of 2,700 blue-collar workers at the Philadelphia School District is still unknown. Layoff notices for 2,700 school district bus drivers and maintenance workers are scheduled to take effect July 15th, if talks with the union, 32BJ, don’t yield an agreement. Read More »
District’s blue-collar union offers $25M in concessions
Threatened with the layoff of its entire workforce, the union representing 2,700 blue-collar workers in the Philadelphia School District has put more than $25 million in projected savings on the table – but the district has stopped talking. George Ricchezza, head of SEIU 32BJ, Local 1201, said he offered five years of no wage increases, Read More »
Community board says yes to workers’ rights
Community board members in Sunnyside, after tabling the issue twice in previous months, agreed on Thursday night to support unionized and nonunionized workers in their efforts to receive fair compensation. The general, wide-net approach the board took on workers’ rights is intentional. “We’re not supporting or not supporting 32BJ, we’re supporting the workers,” board member Read More »
SEIU workers concerned about pending Philadelphia school layoffs
The clock is ticking for workers at the Philadelphia School District who may watch their work sent to private contractors.  A Friday deadline is looming over the talks. Read More »
Unions can shrink the growing wealth gap
One of the most destructive trends in our nation today is the growth of income inequality. The increasing concentration of wealth, the shrinking of the middle class, and the growing number of people who are working but still poor threaten prosperity and undermine democracy. The frustration about this is palpable among many in my district. Read More »
Community Board Takes Stance in Labor Dispute
In a highly unusual move, Community Board 2 adopted a resolution Thursday night supporting workers’ rights to unionize and to seek fair compensation. The vote comes about four months after one of the city’s most powerful labor unions, 32BJ, asked for the board’s support in its dispute with a developer. The union claims that TF Read More »
Doormen’s Union Marks Year Anniversary of Strike at Midtown East High-Rise
Dozens of members of the doormen’s union marked the one-year anniversary of a strike at an upscale Midtown East high-rise on Thursday with perhaps the largest and loudest protest of the past 12 turbulent months. In front of the building at 350 E. 52nd St., members of 32BJ vowed to escalate their efforts in urging Read More »
On MSNBC, Daniel Denvir discusses Philly as ground zero for school privatization
Putting Philly’s (and Pennsylvania’s) school funding crisis in a national context, CP’s Daniel Denvir continued his media tour with an appearance on “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC this weekend. Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Read More »
State Stuck In The Middle Of Labor Dispute
Over the past year or so, relations between a private security contractor and its workers have deteriorated as security guards have attempted to organize a union that the company refuses to recognize. The company, New Jersey-based SOS Security, is required by its contract with the state to maintain “tranquil labor relationship.” With both the company Read More »
Council members move to delay school funding until union settlement
Yesterday, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez introduced a resolution calling on the School Reform Commission to reach a settlement with the blue-collar union SEIU Local 32BJ District — or else Council will delay its decision on school funding. The resolution, which 10 other Council members have signalled they support, also demands more funding from Harrisburg. Read More »
1000s demonstrate against cuts to education in Pa.
Thousands of demonstrators statewide took to the streets Wednesday to protest education cuts they say have decimated school districts across Pennsylvania, and they called for lawmakers to reject further reductions Gov. Tom Corbett proposes for next year. A total of 25 people were arrested during massive demonstrations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as they blocked traffic Read More »
Thousands protest school privatization plan in union-led march, 14 arrested
The state-controlled School Reform Commission‘s plan to close 64 schools and privatize management of potentially all that remain open has sparked widespread opposition across Philadelphia. The plan would also outsource all blue collar work, and today members of SEIU 32BJ led thousands of protesters down Broad Street. More than 2,000 workers―from bus drivers to maintenance Read More »
14 arrested at Center City education rally
As an act of civil disobedience, 14 protesters were arrested after sitting down at Broad and Race. Their mission was to condemn what they see as a plot to privatize Philadelphia’s public schools. This was the final act of a much larger rally and march today organized by the SEIU, the Service Employees International Union. Read More »
Pennsylvania school workers protest layoff notices
Protesters marched in at least two major cities in Pennsylvania on Wednesday in response to proposed state budget cuts intended to close gaps in public school funding. The protests were led by property service union 32BJ SEIU, which represents more than 3,000 Pennsylvania public school aides, bus drivers, attendants, cleaners and maintenance workers. In Philadelphia, Read More »
Guard firm breached Conn. contract
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state of Connecticut has required a private security company hired to protect several office buildings to provide some guards back pay after a review showed the firm breached its contract with the state by underpaying the workers. In a letter to SOS Security Inc., obtained Monday by The Associated Press, the Department of Administrative Services said Read More »
Private security workers fight for the right to organize at City Hall
State and local officials and labor leaders appeared before a full house at City Council today to support a resolution introduced by Councilman Jim Kenney authorizing hearings looking into the right of Philadelphia private security officers to join labor unions. “We have a problem in Philadelphia,” said Centre Square security guard Verell Rhyne. “Private security Read More »
City’s security workers underpaid
As City Council prepares to take a look at working conditions for approximately 3,000 security guards, 32BJ, Service Employees International Union has released a report arguing for higher pay and better benefits for Philadelphia’s security guards — the vast majority of whom are Black. “The … report draws attention to an often neglected issue in Read More »
Profitable Airlines Paying Poverty Wages
The federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics just released 4th quarter 2011 Airline Financial Data which reveals that the nations’ major airlines are doing financially great. But yet at Terminal 4 at JFK Airport yesterday, May 16, passenger service workers being organized by SEIU 32BJ marched through the terminal to protest their low wages and lack Read More »
Con Ed may lose pay flap
Legislative support is building for a controversial bill to force Con Edison to pay union-level wages to workers it contracts with for security and cleaning services. Read More »
Southeast Financial Center Janitors Protest for Unpaid Wages
Most days, Juana Reyes stays past 10 pm to pick up the half-eaten lunches and crumpled printouts left behind by bankers and traders at the Southeast Financial Center, which houses heavy hitters like Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. But for the last four years, the 60-year-old Nicaragua native says she and her coworkers have been Read More »
Organizing Campaign Kicks Off in Jersey
Across the river in Jersey City on Wednesday, May 9, New Jersey security officers kicked off a major campaign to join SEIU 32BJ, which represents about 500 security officers in the state. But the majority of the 5,000 officers in the state are non-union, many of them earning just above the minimum wage while receiving Read More »
Security Guards Strike; Abandon State Building Posts
Just over five weeks ago, security guards at state office complexes announced they were ready to strike, alleging they had been harassed and intimidated by their employer, SOS Security. Thursday they did, but only for the day. The workers say SOS Security has not been making its required pension contributions under its contract with the state. Read More »
Service Employees Union Hold Rally
The Service Employees International Union local 32BJ marched down Grove Street Wednesday afternoon, drawing out storefront owners and residents as the purple-shirted mass of 125 or so protesters headed to City Hall in support of raising wages for security officers. These officers, at least one of whom is employed at City Hall, are some of Read More »
Security Guards At State Buildings Strike Against Private Firm
Forty privately employed security guards who work in state office buildings mounted a one-day strike Thursday, protesting low wages and benefits in a standoff complicated by state rules over retirement benefits the workers say they are not receiving. The workers signed up last year with Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, but their employer — Read More »
Union hits AvalonBay for worksite conditions
A new report criticizes AvalonBay Communities, one of the nation’s largest residential real estate investment trusts, for violating labor laws and allowing unsafe working conditions at its new development projects across the country, including in New York City. The report is compiled by the big property-service workers union, 32BJ SEIU, which has been protesting AvalonBay’s Read More »
Big raises for private security officers
More than 1,000 private security officers who protect many of the area’s major transportation hubs overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year contract Thursday that will boost their pay to nearly $20 an hour by the end of the deal. The workers—who protect Port Authority locations in New York and New Jersey, including John F. Kennedy, La Read More »
Security Guards Rally for Unionization at Love Park
When Verell Rhyne’s wife suggest the couple move from Memphis, Tenn., to her native Philadelphia, he agreed. Rhyne, a security guard, figured that in a pro-labor city such as Philly, he’d get a good union job. Not so. “I knew security guards made more here,” he says. “That was my rational thinking. But … when Read More »
Advocates: Airport contractors ‘poach’ southeast Queens for cheap labor
Airport contractors are “poaching” the southeast Queens community for cheap labor, according to a coalition of civic leaders and local clergy. The group is calling on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to allow these workers — who make on average about $8 an hour — to engage in collective bargaining. “People Read More »
Many Workers at Area Airports Make Below-Poverty Wages: Report
About a quarter of employees who work in area airports — including some who have jobs in security — make wages that are below the poverty line, according to a new study released Wednesday. Workers at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports who screen luggage, check tickets, clean airport bathrooms and assist customers in wheelchairs earn, Read More »
Cornel West Speaks In Solidarity With University Of Miami Chartwells Workers Moving To Form Union
Moments before taking the stage at the University of Miami’s 8,000-seat Bank United Center Tuesday to deliver remarks on the school’s 50th anniversary of desegregation, outspoken author, professor, activist, and prominent Bill O’Reilly opponent Dr. Cornel West made a surprise stop in the name of solidarity. “I was told there are some precious, priceless food Read More »
Staff Editorial: Chartwells workers deserve more benefits
Though they have gone unnoticed by many in the University of Miami’s community, Chartwells workers’ protests have been anything but silent. UM’s Chartwells employees are seeking to unionize in order to demand better working conditions from the dining services corporation. These workers are unhappy that they continue to work full-time without any health benefits or Read More »
Air Safety on the Cheap
Jackson is at work, at Delta’s two terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where he’s a security guard. Jackson makes sure no one enters the gate area without passing through the Transportation Security Administration screening checkpoints. He ensures no one unauthorized exits the access doors to the tarmac. He guards the employee entrance and makes sure only properly Read More »
Courant Gets Coal From Union Santa
When the Hartford Courant ended its contract with eight unionized janitors in October, the state’s largest newspaper landed on “Union Santa’s” naughty list. Dressed in a Santa costume, SEIU 32BJ field organizer Wojciech Pirog delivered a bucket of coal to the paper’s Hartford headquarters on Friday. Pirog was joined by some of the former janitors, Read More »
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