Custodians working for seven cleaning companies with contracts for many downtown Columbus buildings are threatening to strike in a dispute over wages, benefits, and working conditions.
The Service Employees International Union says another bargaining session with the Columbus Area Service Contractors Association is scheduled for Wednesday. Representatives of other unions including the Ohio Education Association, the AFL-CIO and Communications Workers of America joined the custodians for a rally Monday and pledged not to cross their picket lines. Union spokesperson Tyler French says the companies are trying to cut the number of full time custodians from 70 to 15 percent, and are trying to cut working hours.
The service companies say employees have received wage increases totaling over 18 percent, paid vacation, holiday time and other benefits over the last few years. Many of the custodians say they make only ten dollars an hour.