Office Building Tenants Support Security Officers!

DC Jobs with Justice hosts Building Benefits meeting at Economic Policy InstituteThursday afternoon, the Economic Policy Institute hosted a meeting on working conditions for service workers in their office building. Tenants who work in offices throughout the large H Street building met with downtown security officers, SEIU local 32BJ organizers and DC Jobs with Justice staff to discuss the officers’ campaign and how tenants can help. Tenants learned that many downtown security officers earn less than $10 an hour, get no paid sick days and have trouble affording healthcare. Officers also have very little control over their schedules – one officer told tenants how he was forced to work a 27-hour shift on Christmas Day!

rnThis building is the latest to join Building Benefits, a network of tenants renting offices downtown. DC Jobs with Justice began organizing this project about a year ago. In more than two-dozen office buildings, tenants have taken action to support the janitors, security officers and parking attendants in their buildings. Working with DC JwJ, tenants have worn stickers, collected petitions supporting paid sick leave legislation, and written to their property managers to advocate for better working conditions in their buildings.
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rnTenants taking action is vital to ensuring that when security officers win a strong contract, property managers will continue to do business with security companies that have increased workers’ wages and benefits. Usually, property managers make building owners rich by forcing security companies to compete to provide the lowest cost for their services, which means the lowest wages for workers. Tenants can pressure their property managers to support the workers by committing to use their services even if wages and benefits improve to raise the quality of life for officers.
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rnWork in a downtown DC office? Want to learn more about supporting service workers in your building? Please contact DC JwJ at 202-974-8224, or e-mail Mackenzie Baris on the “Contact Us” page.rn

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rnPhoto by Andy Richards of the Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO rn

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