Mayor Emanuel Creates Grim Holidays for Unionized Janitors at Ohare

Send by emailSend by email

Unionized Janitors at Ohare Face Precarious Future
Please Read and Act 


More than 300 Local 1 janitors and window washers at O’Hare airport may lose their jobs just before Christmas this year because Mayor Rahm Emanuel awarded the contract to a nonunion contractor.

The company, United Maintenance, has already stated it will hire new workers and cut wages, turning what are now full time, family-sustaining jobs into part time poverty jobs.

Just like when the Mayor gave the Zone 3 contract to Dayspring, these experienced workers will likely lose their jobs after years of service to this City and join the ranks of Chicago’s unemployed.

The members whose jobs are at risk are primarily immigrants and people of color. They are shocked. “We don’t know how we will pay the bills, how we will put food on the table. We won’t be able to celebrate Christmas this year with our kids,” says Manuel Nieves, a janitor at O’Hare for seven years.

Manuel and his coworkers don’t understand how the former Chief of Staff for the President could have such different policies on jobs: “Obama is always here for the working people, but our mayor’s ultimate purpose is to help the rich, not us.”

Message from Nora Kelley, SEIU, the union representing the janitors.

We know that Mayor Emanuel is not the people’s mayor—he’s the millionaires’ mayor.  We have appreciated your support of our ongoing fight for good jobs in Chicago.  Thank you for your support. We have a lot of exciting developments to share and would like to ask for your help again.

 1.   Ask your organization to sign the attached letter to Mayor Emanuel.  It will come from dozens of community groups and organizations who stand with the O’Hare janitors and all workers in Chicago.

2.   Sign the petition to Mayor Emanuel

3.  Read worker stories

3.       Like us on Facebook and share the attached Facebook button.

4.       Follow us on Twitter and tweet @ChicagosMayor and@RahmEmanuel using the hashtags #millionairesmayor and #rahmjobkiller.


Chief of Staff