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Season 5, Episode 10

New contract for SEIU Local 32BJ improve wages for commercial cleaners


SEIU 32B Gray


Guest Name:

Manny Pastreich

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Guest Social Media:






President of the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, Manny Pastreich, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss his career with the SEIU. Pastreich also discussed the new contracts for commercial cleaners and the joint fight with the Machinists to organize Uber and Lyft drivers.

SEIU Local 32BJ mainly consists of cleaners, property maintenance workers, doormen, security officers, window cleaners, building engineers and school and food service workers. With over 175,000 members, the Union is the largest union of property service workers in the U.S., and they are mainly located in the Northeast but have Locals as far south as Florida and as far West as Montana. Pastreich said the SEIU is in his blood. His father helped found two SEIU Healthcare Locals in Massachussets. He talked about taking his first job in 1992, working on the SEIU Justice for Janitors Campaign in Washington, D.C.  

There are nearly 70,000 cleaners within the Union, and over the past two and a half months, Pastreich and his team have been bargaining with the commercial cleaning industry on behalf of these cleaners. Past contracts fell behind the members' needs in both wages and benefit coverages, something that Pastreich said they worked to fix in negotiations. Pastreich explained how the largest bargaining unit, New York, was one of the most difficult negotiations due to many unique employer offers. The win in New York City earned workers a $3.72 raise over the four years of the agreement, the largest in the bargaining unit’s history, Pastreich said.

Pastreich is working to grow the Local through focused organizing efforts in 2024. SEIU Local 32BJ and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers are working to organize Uber and Lyft drivers in a program called Drivers Demand Justice Coalition in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Attorney General is attempting to make a determination through the courts stating that rideshare drivers deserve the same access to benefits as all other workers. Pastreich talked about the extent the rideshare employers are taking to prevent these organizing efforts, as well as which Union would represent the workers if the determination is made.

To learn more about the new contracts earned by SEIU 32BJ members, listen to the show above.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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