Chicago window washers end strike, get 27 percent wage hike
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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 from Service 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.”