Janitors at the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court in St. Louis unionize with SEIU Local 1 after nearly a year long fight

St. Louis, MO – On April 4, 2023, the essential janitors of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri, who keep the Courts clean and safe, unionized under Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 – a diverse union representing over 45,000 property service workers across the Midwest.

This comes after nine months of relentless campaigning by workers who spoke out against mistreatment on the job and represents a significant victory for workers, disability rights advocates, and local elected officials who fought to ensure the court selected a responsible contractor after the previous service provider vacated their contract, which was scheduled to expire in June.

“I am absolutely ecstatic,” said Martin Wilson, a 22nd Judicial Circuit Court janitor and new member of SEIU Local 1. “This has been a tough road, but it was definitely worth it. After nine months of organizing – our voices were finally heard! Now my coworkers and I all have the job protections, rights, and benefits we deserve!”

“The way we treat janitors at the 22nd Circuit Court says something about our city and state,” said Carl Walter, SEIU Local 1’s External Organizing Coordinator for Missouri.

“During the past year, workers risked a great deal to stand up for themselves and each other. This campaign was worker-led – they continued to show up and fight. I’m incredibly proud and honored to have stood side-by-side with them on their journey for equality and justice. Now, the fight continues – we have to ensure every worker in St. Louis has the respect, protection, and pay they deserve.”

Over the past nine months, SEIU Local 1 developed a coalition of disability rights advocates, local elected officials, and civil rights organizations to support this worker-led fight and put an end to discriminatory working conditions for janitors.

Additionally, the coalition worked to ensure that a responsible contractor like ABBCO – a contractor who supports working families and provides union jobs – was selected so that workers are provided access to job protections, benefits, and wages via Union representation.


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