ICS Magazine

Cleaning Contractors, Janitors Fail to Reach Agreement

October 31, 2000
Talks between striking Fairfield County janitors and the cleaning contractors who employ them concluded recently without an agreement.

Norwalk, Conn. (PRNewswire)-- Talks between striking Fairfield County janitors and the cleaning contractors who employ them concluded tonight without an agreement. Negotiations are scheduled to resume again on Wed., November 1.

"We are going to continue to fight for good full-time jobs," said Kurt Westby, president of SEIU Local 531, which represents janitors in Fairfield County. "There are no part-time grocery bills or rents. Janitors need good full-time jobs to survive."

Fairfield County janitors are trapped in low paid part-time jobs. Cleaning firms pay janitors only $6.15 per hour to work four-hour shifts each night. Without full-time work opportunities, janitors are forced to string together two or three part-time jobs to survive. The janitors began a county-wide strike on October 2.

Fairfield janitors have won support from other janitors across the country who have launched their own campaigns this year to win good full-time jobs. Janitors in Denver and Hartford won more full-time work opportunities. The Fairfield County janitors have also won support from a variety of community, religious, and political leaders. State politicians including Speaker Moira Lyons and House Majority Leader David Pudlin participated in a one day fast to show their support for six Fairfield county janitors who have launched a hunger strike. The hunger strikers have gone six days without food and vow to continue their fast until their employers agree to provide janitors with good full-time jobs.