DENVER, CO – After three days of voting at the airport, three hundred and fifty janitors and members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 who work for the contractor Flagship have voted in favor of going on strike for fair wages and workloads, with 99% of the votes cast voting yes.
“In the four years that I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen unity like this between janitors across the airport,” said Solita Sualau, Janitor at DEN. “Going on strike is not something any one of us wants to do, but if Flagship continues to refuse to value our essential work, we will do what it takes to get the respect we deserve and make these jobs good, livable wage jobs in our community.”
The potential strike could begin as early as Friday, October 1st, if an agreement is not reached before their contract expires on Thursday, September 30th.
(See below for the 9.28.21 release for additional information)
DENVER, CO – Three hundred and fifty janitors and members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 who have kept Denver International Airport clean and sanitized throughout the pandemic, began a three-day voting process on Monday to decide whether to go on strike for fair wages and workloads.
After weeks of negotiations with their employer Flagship, the city contractor has refused to bargain a fair contract with the airport janitors our community has depended on for the last 20 months. The services these janitors provide cover the entirety of the airport and the Westin hotel, ensuring clean facilities and spaces for all travelers at DEN.
“We put ourselves at risk every day to keep this airport running through COVID,” said Densley Philbert, Janitor at DEN for 16 years. “We are sick of being understaffed, overworked, underpaid, and undervalued for our work. We are ready to do what it takes for our families, including going on strike, to get the fair wages and respect we deserve for the services we provide.”
As DEN continues to struggle with staffing shortages across the airport, the janitors say this will only worsen as the low wages they are speaking out against keep new hires away.
“It’s no wonder that folks looking for work aren’t looking here,” said Guillermo Booz, Janitor at DEN for 15 years. “We’ve built our lives and our careers at these jobs, but putting yourself at risk every day for wages that can’t even pay the rent isn’t what most people would consider a good job. We’re going to change that. We’re going to make these better jobs in a better airport.”
Janitors will conclude their voting on Wednesday, September 29th, and announce the results of the strike authorization vote. The dates and times for the potential strike would then be decided by the membership. With their current three-year contract set to expire on Thursday, September 30th, a possible strike could happen any time following that date.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 is an organization made up of more than 8,000 healthcare, property service, and airport workers in Colorado. Our union is part of the fastest-growing union in North America, whose 2 million members make up the largest healthcare union, the largest property services union, and the second-largest public services union.