Hundreds of janitors who service Denver International Airport walked off the job Saturday morning, going on strike because of “unfair” workloads and stagnant wages, union officials said.
After months of ongoing negotiations with Flagship Facility Services, 350 janitors, members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105, went on strike at 6 a.m. “without an agreement reached on their three-year contract to protest unfair labor practices,” according to a news release from the local union.
The union, in the release, described the strike as “a last resort.” The janitors service the main terminal and concourses at DIA. On Oct. 1, the janitors, who make $17 an hour, walked off the job for a one-day strike. Saturday’s news release described the current union action as an “open-ended strike during the peak of Thanksgiving travel” at the airport.
“We’re on strike for fair wages and workloads,” said Luis Gonzalez, a janitor who is on the bargaining committee. “We keep this place running, we put ourselves at risk every day, and we deserve to be able to put food on the table for the holidays.”
The latest Flagship wage proposal “falls lower than inflation – amounting to what janitors are seeing as a pay cut,” the release said.
“We urge our contractor Flagship, and our janitors’ union to come to an agreement quickly,” said Stephanie Figueroa, a DIA representative in an email “We believe they can resolve their differences. In the meantime, we are working closely with Flagship to minimize any disruption in service and impacts to (the airport) and our passengers.”
The union and Flagship were meeting on Saturday, working to resolve the contract issues, said David Fernandez, a union representative. A union rally is scheduled at the airport on Saturday afternoon.