Members of the Service Employees International Union Local 105 who work as janitors at Denver International Airport have voted for a strike over wages and workloads.
Union officials said Wednesday that during three days of voting, 99% of the approximately 250 SEIU members who cast ballots backed a strike. A strike could start as early as Friday if an agreement isn’t reached before the contract expires Thursday, the union said in a statement.
About 350 janitors work for California-based Flagship Aviation Services, which won the contract at DIA in February. The company didn’t reply to requests for comment Wednesday evening.
“We put ourselves at risk every day to keep this airport running through COVID,” said Densley Philbert, a janitor at the airport for 16 years. “We are sick of being understaffed, overworked, underpaid, and undervalued for our work.”
The union said after weeks of negotiations, Flagship refused to bargain a fair contract. One of the goals is to make sure the job pays enough to handle the rising cost of living, SEIU spokesman David Fernandez said.
The janitors working for Flagship earn around $17 an hour, Fernandez said.
Another major issue is the workload, Fernandez added. “All these janitors have had just a huge increased workload throughout the entire pandemic because there aren’t enough people.”
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