On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, SEIU Local 1 members, along with faith and community allies, held a vigil and rally outside St. Louis’ Bank of America Plaza at 800 Market Street to demand justice after wages for janitors employed by maintenance contractor Archway were slashed to $9.50 an hour.
Samuel Mandingo, who has worked in the Bank of America Plaza for 12 years, told KMOX news radio, “The only comparison I can make is like losing both of your legs. It’s causing a hardship paying bills, putting food on the table, taking care of my mother and other things that need to be done.”
Mandingo said employees weren’t given any reason for the pay cut.
SEIU Local 1 Organizing Coordinator Jennifer Disla said non-union contractor Archway disregarded the janitors’ pre-existing contract when it took over management at the plaza. Some of the janitors in the plaza were making $15 an hour, she said, and their pay was also cut to $9.50. Disla said SEIU is calling on Archway to respect the union contract and the janitors who work for the company.
“Bank of America decided to take on an irresponsible contractor who slashed wages 33 percent for workers that were there,” Disla said. “We want good jobs and good wages for our community.”