Sen. Menendez and NJ Legislators to Call for Fair Contract for Building Cleaners

–Elected Officials to Join Rally of Building Cleaners Outside Hotel Where Contract Talks Are Underway; Rally Comes Days After Strike Authorization Vote –

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 21, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Robert Menendez; State Senators Ray Lesniak (D-Union) and Ron Rice (D-Essex); and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union) will join a rally of New Jersey building cleaners in Newark today to call for employers to agree to a fair contract for the 7,000 men and women who keep New Jersey office buildings clean, safe and sanitary. The brief rally will be held outside the Hilton at Gateway Center in Newark during a break in contract talks going on inside the building. Elected officials are taking a public stand six days after 2,000 building cleaners from around the state marched through downtown Newark and voted to authorize their union’s bargaining committee to call a strike if a fair agreement is not reached before the union contract expires at 12:01 a.m. on January 1st.

?Contract talks for the cleaners began in October. But employers are making demands that would amount to a pay cut for workers already struggling to stay out of poverty and would threaten their health benefits. 32BJ members clean some of New Jersey’s most prestigious office buildings including along the Hudson County waterfront, in Newark, and in cities, towns and office parks across the state. Commercial real estate in New Jersey is a $4.5 billion industry with the list of top real estate owners and major tenants including Mack Cali, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson.

WHO: U.S. Senator Robert Menendez

State Senator Ray Lesniak (D-Union)

State Senator Ron Rice (D-Essex)

State Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union)

32BJ New Jersey State Director Kevin Brown

Office building cleaners from Essex and Hudson counties

WHAT: Elected officials join rally of building cleaners to call for a fair contract.
WHEN: Noon to 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Outside the Hilton at Gateway Center where contract negotiations are being held Wednesday

With more than 120,000 members in eight states and Washington, D.C., including 9,000 in New Jersey, 32BJ SEIU is the largest union of property service workers in the country and one of the fastest-growing unions in New Jersey.

For more information, visit www.standwithbuildingworkers.org .

Contact:
Maia Davis: 201-396-4444
Eugenio Villasante: 212-539-2940

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