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Cruz Guzman of SEIU Local 1 shouts as window washers go on strike on July 2, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

Chicago window washers end strike, get 27 percent wage hike

SHARE Chicago window washers end strike, get 27 percent wage hike
SHARE Chicago window washers end strike, get 27 percent wage hike

After four weeks on strike, Chicago window washers announced Friday that they have ratified a new contract that includes a 27 percent wage increase.

Union members overwhelmingly ratified the new contract, which guarantees annual wages, doubles their life insurance from $50,000 to $100,000 and brings window washers to a $26 base wage of the life of the five-year contact, according to a statement fromService Employees International Union Local 1.

SEIU Local 1 is part of a group of unions that owns the Sun-Times.

“We put our livelihood on the line and won the biggest wage increase for Chicago window washers in Local 1 history,” window washer Cruz Guzman said in the statement. “Higher wages and a better life insurance policy will safeguard my family and help us build a brighter future.”

The window washers contract expired June 30 and the workers had been on an industry-wide strike since July 2, the union said.

In a statement after the deal was reached, Corporate Cleaning services — one of window washing companies that the workers are employed by — said they were also pleased by the resolution of the strike.

“We are pleased that those workers recognized that SEIU’s unreasonable and unprecedented demand for a 37% wage increase was not realistic and that they voted for the fair wage and strong insurance package we offered,” the company said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to provide our clients with the high-quality, professional service they deserve.”

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