Strike averted as commercial office cleaners reach deal with owners

A strike by commercial office cleaners in Philadelphia was averted after their union reached an agreement with the organization representing the owners of the buildings.

Details of the contract were not announced, because the deal had not been ratified.

The union had voted last week to authorize a strike.

A spokeswoman for SEIU Local 32 BJ said the new contract includes modest wage increases and that members would not have to pay into their healthcare plan. The union also fought off proposals to replace a pension with a 401k-style plan.

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Bob Martin, who represents the Building Owners Labor Relations, a committee of the organization the represents building owners in the city, said in a statement that the agreement balances the needs of workers, tenants and business.

“While BOLR is aware of the economic challenges facing union members, this agreement balances the concerns of both parties in a fair and appropriate manner,” Martin said.

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Most cleaners earn between $15 and $17 per hour.

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