Reporting Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The union representing workers who clean and maintain about 100 office buildings in Center City has agreed to a four year deal, thereby averting a strike that was scheduled to begin today.
A strike would have led to a big trash pile up in the city’s largest high rises.
“We’re in Liberty One, Liberty Two, Comcast Tower — all the major high rises in the city we represent,” Wayne MacManiman said.
MacManiman is District Supervisor for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which has agreed to a four-year contract that includes a pay raise of nearly seven percent over the next four years and a $600 bonus. Overall a very modest increase, but MacManiman says those numbers had been closer to zero.
“We have good union jobs but our members are not making a killing as people want to perceive it. We’re just barely above the poverty line, most of our members and if we don’t get wage increases it really hurts us. It hurts the economy of Philadelphia.”
The deal also keeps health care and pensions in place.
“We think that we work very hard and we keep these buildings going. We keep the building owners properties valuable and we want to be rewarded at the end of the day for that.”
The next step is for the rank and file to ratify the contract.
Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060