More than 10,000 property service workers in the Hudson Valley publicly voted to approve a strike. On Tuesday, their union voted in favor of walking off the job after negotiations with commercial contractors and landlords fell through. 32BJ SEIU is seeking raises compatible with inflation, assurance that health benefits will continue to be covered by employers and increased protections from layoffs. Property service workers could strike as soon as the end of the month. 

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32BJ SEIU is the largest union of property service workers in the United States with over 175,000 members. Their mission is to build and grow a diverse, effective, politically independent and democratic organization of workers to change workers' lives for the better, improve our communities, and build a more just society for present and future generations. Members of 32BJ SEIU are primarily cleaners, property maintenance workers, doormen, security officers, window cleaners, building engineers, and school and food service workers, among other important jobs in our community.

32BJ SEIU Members work for private employers, the public sector, and companies receiving government contracts. They work in office, apartment, and government buildings; airports and shopping malls; public schools, colleges, and universities; stadiums, theaters, museums, and country clubs. A strike of this magnitude will be affecting many sectors of industry.

Over 1,000 Hudson Valley janitors gathered on Tuesday, Dec. 12 in White Plains to authorize a strike since their union, 32BJ SEIU, was not able to reach a contract with commercial contractors.

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Rush Perez, a spokesperson for the unions said the union has been trying to negotiate new contracts since September with representatives with dozens of commercial landlords and companies that own their buildings. Major landlords involved in the negotiations, Perez said, are Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Argent Ventures, RPW Group, RXR Realty, Simon Property Group and Feil Organization.

Claudia Rodriguez, a cleaner at New York Medical College in Valhalla, said,

“During my eight years as a cleaner in the Hudson Valley and a 32BJ member, I have never been part of such a significant contract negotiation. We are standing with other cleaners across Long Island, New Jersey and Fairfield, Connecticut — 10,000 cleaners strong ― to fight for fair wage increases, health insurance, pensions, and job protections. But we cannot win this contract on unity alone. We must use every tool available to us. That includes the most powerful option available — the power to strike."

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Executive vice president and director of the Hudson Valley District of 32BJ SEIO Shirley Aldebol said,

"It is about the 1,500 Hudson Valley essential workers who sacrificed and came to work during COVID-19 to make the spaces healthy and safe for tenants. Now these cleaners and their family members’ livelihoods are at stake."

Workers will walk off the job starting midnight Dec. 31 unless a contract agreement is reached before the strike.

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