For More Information: Frank Soults, 216-849-2271
HARTFORD, Conn. — On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., dozens of workers and supporters gathered at 500 Enterprise Drive in Rocky Hill, outside Hartford, for a food drive for cleaners who were displaced from their jobs when the building owner, KS Partners, abruptly ended a cleaning contract spanning nearly 20 years. Besides providing foodstuffs for the ten cleaners who lost their positions, union members from the Hartford SEIU 32BJ District local rallied in support of the cleaners, two of whom spoke to the gathered crowd, including Patricia Guerrero.
“We’d never had any complaint or any problem at our jobs,” said Guerrero, who has worked at 500 Enterprise since 2006. “They came to tell us that on June 30 we’d be let go. My husband and I have two girls, and he works morning and I work evenings so we can take care of them. Now I’m worried about how we’re going to pay our bills.”
The jobs at 500 Enterprise offered fair wages and benefits, allowing workers to build a decent life for their families. But the livelihoods of these long-time cleaners are now threatened due to the priority placed on increased corporate profits.
“This is just wrong,” said SEIU 32 BJ Vice President John Santos in a statement. “This property includes several Fortune 500 companies among its tenants, and it’s one of many properties owned by KS Partners across New England. They most certainly have the resources to continue to pay these hardworking people the wages they deserve. It’s not too late for them to reverse course before families begin to really suffer.”
With more than 145,000 member in 11 states and Washington DC, including 4,000 members in Connecticut, 32BJ is the largest building service workers union in the country.