After going on strike Tuesday, janitors who clean offices in the Lazarus building downtown returned to work last night. Productive talks at the bargaining table on Wednesday persuaded janitors to return to work in good faith that a fair agreement will be reached between the janitors' union and the Columbus Area Service Contractors Association, which represents seven cleaning contractors.
Tuesday's strike was precipitated by threats, intimidation, and other illegal conduct by the cleaning companies against the janitors for organizing, the union said.
"This is about our rights!" said Velma Clark, a Columbus janitor and grandmother of five, to the energetic picket line on Tuesday. "We are here to say no to intimidation. No to retaliation. We are standing up for good jobs for our families and a better future for Columbus!"
"As a result of the bravery of the Columbus janitors who stood up for their right to fight for good jobs across the city, we have seen some productive conversations at the bargaining table today," said Tyler French, SEIU Local 1 regional coordinator. "We are returning to the table on Monday, where we will continue to stand strong for good jobs and the future of Columbus."