St. Louis Alderman Cara Spencer introduces resolution on behalf of Aramark janitors fighting to unionize at Anheuser-Busch

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ARAMARK JANITORS rallied outside the Anheuser-Busch brewery and corporate complex Oct. 26 demanding Aramark recognize the janitors’ intent join Service Employees International Union Local 1. – Labor Tribune photo

By TIM ROWDEN
Editor-in-Chief

St. Louis – Alderman Cara Spencer (8th Ward), introduced a board resolution Nov. 17 on behalf of Aramark janitors fighting for unionization at Anheuser-Busch (AB) Brewery and Corporate Center here. The janitors, striving to organize with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, say they are overworked, understaffed and underappreciated by Aramark.

“I am proud to sponsor a board resolution in support of Aramark janitors fighting for a pathway toward unionization at Anheuser-Busch,” Spencer said. “There’s something incredibly wrong when wealthy corporations, like Aramark, post record profits while workers struggle for dignity, equality and respect in their workplace. Now is the time for us to stand with these workers as they exercise their right to organize.”

The resolution’s co-sponsor, Alderman Rasheen Aldridge (14th Ward), said “I’m very proud to co-sponsor a board resolution in support of Aramark janitors fighting for a pathway toward unionization at Anheuser Busch. I’m always here to help make sure working people in our city aren’t exploited by wealthy corporations but I can’t do it all alone. That’s why working people come together to form unions; and why unions are the only chance for workers to fight back against corporate greed.”

Aldermen Anne Schweitzer (Ward 1), Michael Browning (Ward 9), Alisha Sonnier (Ward 7), Laura Keys (Ward 11), Shameem Clark Hubbard (Ward 1), Bret Narayan (Ward 4), Pamela Boyd (Ward 13), and Daniela Velazquez (Ward 6) all requested to be added as co-sponsors of the resolution.

‘STANDING TOGETHER’
“My colleagues and I are providing essential work and helping Aramark and AB InBev to earn enormous profits. But right now, the healthcare Aramark offers us is too expensive and we have no pension or job protections,” said Aramark janitor Aaron Umstead. “I’m organizing a union with my coworkers, because I want to ensure that my family’s basic needs are met, both now and in the future.”

Aramark Janitor Charles Wagner said the AB campus demands constant sanitation from professional cleaners, in order to maintain the standard of excellence for which Anheuser-Busch is known. “My colleagues and I take pride in our work but we’ve all been overworked; underpaid and underappreciated for too long,” Wagner said. “That’s why we’re standing together to respectfully request that Aramark grant us neutrality and a pathway toward union recognition.”

The resolution comes after over a month of requests being ignored by Aramark.

On Oct.11, janitors at AB presented Aramark with a letter requesting neutrality and a pathway toward union recognition. On Oct. 26, following a press conference on AB’s campus with BOA President, Megan Green, Aramark indicated a preference to remain non-union in St. Louis but left open the possibility of subcontracting janitorial services at AB to a union employer in order to avoid a prolonged Labor dispute. However, since that time, Aramark has continued to ignore requests from janitors at AB who are requesting a pathway toward unionization.


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