Thousands of janitors protested in front of Detroit City Hall in June, lobbying for a $15 an hour wage.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the more than 1,700 janitors who clean the GM Renaissance Center, Cobo Center and many other downtown Detroit businesses will announce the results of a strike vote at a prayer vigil in front of the Compuware Building in Campus Martius on Monday.
The janitors, represented by Service Employees International Union Local 1, says they are seeking higher, more livable wages and improved benefits. Some janitors working in the city currently make as little as $9.45 an hour, and median annual earnings are so low, many rely on public assistance to make ends meet, said SEIU Local 1 spokesman Nick Desideri.
“These 1,700 janitors have spent years making sure Detroit is safe and clean for everyone,” he said. “They are not seeing the benefits of Detroit’s redevelopment.”
The janitors’ contract expires July 31.
At Monday’s event, scheduled for 7 p.m., local clergy will offer prayers “for a positive outcome to bargaining, including the raises they need to support their families,” Desideri said.
Detroit Councilwoman Janeé Ayers and state Rep. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, are also slated to appear.
The janitors are primarily employed by three companies: Professional Building Maintenance/Preferred Building Services (PBS/PBM) of Southfield, ABM Janitorial Services of Detroit and GDI Omni of Southfield. Messages left at each company Sunday were not immediately returned.
Local 1’s contract push for janitors is part of its “One Detroit” campaign, which includes efforts to provide $15 an hour wages and union rights for fast food workers, airport employees, and others. Union workers demonstrated at the airport in November 2016 and workers protested outside Detroit fast-food restaurants last August.