Janitors struggle while city booms
Clayton, MO – Centaur Building Services janitors, joined by members of Service Employees International Union Local 1, faith leaders and community allies, rallied and marched in downtown Clayton Sept. 6 for the higher wages and a better future.
“Centaur janitors need higher wages and a voice on the job to support their families, and Local 1 janitors support them in their fight for a better future,” said SEIU Local 1 janitor Greg Minnis, who cleans the Caleres campus in Clayton. “When working people come together on the job in union, our livelihoods are protected. Our work is protected.”
In May, Centaur janitors at Express Scripts won higher wages and a union after coming together on the job.
WHILE CLAYTON BOOMS,
Downtown Clayton is booming with more than $1 billion in development in the works. But while profits soar, too many irresponsible companies refuse to treat their employees right, and the hardworking janitors who keep downtown Clayton running every day are being left behind.
Centaur Building Service janitors struggle to make ends meet on as little as $8 an hour and health benefits far below industry standard. Like Centaur janitors at Express Scripts before them, Clayton janitors are coming together for higher wages, quality health benefits and a better future with SEIU Local 1.
The demonstration and march kicked off at Bemiston Tower and continued past the Plaza in Clayton. Both buildings currently utilize Centaur Building Services to clean their properties.
Centaur’s lowering standards and wages drive down wages and benefits for all working families in St. Louis County.
CENTAUR’S TROUBLING RECORD
In June, following revelations the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found “reasonable cause to believe” Centaur discharged an African-American woman due to her race, the St. Louis Board of Estimate and Apportionment refused to award a $13.5 million contract to the company to clean St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
Clayton business leaders should emulate regional leaders by refusing to use a contractor with this kind of troubling record and instead use a contractor that ensures janitors have a voice on the job.
SEIU Local 1 unites 50,000 workers throughout the Midwest including nearly 10,000 commercial janitors, higher education faculty, food service workers, state workers in the Division of Probation and Parole, school custodians, patient care professionals.