Fired union janitors and allies picketed the downtown Cleveland office building known as “The Fives” on July 24, protesting the owner’s decision to switch to a non-union cleaning contractor. Over 250 supporters have signed a petition demanding the janitors, members of Service Employees (SEIU) Local 1, be rehired. The union is also pressuring both City Hall and Cuyahoga County, which lease office space in The Fives, to use their leverage to win the janitors’ jobs back.
“Janitors like me were battling the spread of COVID-19, which is disproportionately harming Black and Brown communities, all while Express Janitorial took away our livelihood,” explains Monta McLaughlin.
Protesters carried signs reading “Union janitors keep you safe” and “No tax dollars for union busters.”
— Story and photo by Martha Grevatt