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Justice for Janitors Solidarity rally
by marie Friday, Nov. 05, 2004 at 9:25 AM

Protesters gathered outside of Center City Tower to demand justice for the janitors who were fired.

Justice for Janitors...
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About 35 people protested Center City Tower today (Friday, November 5) at the intersection of Smithfield and Seventh Avenues downtown.

“Thousands of people in Allegheny County and millions across the country are facing the same struggle as the nine janitors who were tossed out of Centre City Tower. These janitors lost their job because they were going to receive affordable family health insurance under their new union contract. The rising cost of healthcare is tearing apart this community,” said Tim Vining, Executive Director of the Thomas Merton Center.

A dozen protesters entered the building with bucket drums, signs and informational flyers chanting "No justice, no peace," "We're not going away" and "This is just the beginning" while supporters stood outside and cheered.

Last year, the day before New Year’s Eve, nine SEIU janitors who work in Center City Tower were given one day to pack up their belongings and leave. Six weeks after negotiating an agreement, which included healthcare benefits, Center City Tower decided to avoid having to pay for increases resulting from the new health coverage by hiring non-union workers to replace the janitors. It has been almost a year now, SEIU has worked hard to try and get the janitors their jobs back. Through many protests, rallies, a fast, and acts of civil disobedience, meetings with tenants of the building and City Council, Center City Tower remains unwilling to rehire the janitors.

The Thomas Merton Center and the community are joining together to support the janitors and escalate a campaign that will not end until it succeeds in getting the janitors their jobs back, complete with healthcare benefits, pension, and living wages. Organizers say they will continually escalate the intensity of the actions until there is justice. Business as usual will be a thing of the past for Center City Tower.

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Center City Last Chance!
by marie Friday, Nov. 05, 2004 at 9:25 AM

Center City Last Cha...
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