From 32BJ SEIU

Candidates Pledge Support for Creating an Unemployment Fund for Essential Undocumented Workers

Washington, D.C. – Janitors, contracted airport workers and private security officers represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 32BJ, today announced their endorsement of Jordan Grossman for Ward 2 and Brandon Todd for Ward 4 in District races ahead of the June 2, 2020 primary election.

Todd and Grossman both pledged support for legislation that would provide COVID-19 funds to undocumented workers who have been excluded from unemployment and other benefits, despite risking their lives keeping the public safe during this pandemic.

Key to 32BJ members’ decision to support Grossman was his commitment to push for an Essential Workers Bill of Rights, similar to a federal bill proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren to create a legal obligation for employers that would mandate that property management companies provide adequate personal protective equipment such as facemasks and gloves to all personnel. It would also obligate them to inform workers if and when they are exposed to a person potentially infected with COVID-19 “and evacuating the job site until it can be properly cleaned.”    

Grossman also pledged to repair, expand and fully fund the unemployment system, help combat wage theft and sexual harassment and give Council oversight to ensure accountability.

“I am so honored to have the support of the essential workers of 32BJ SEIU,” said Grossman. “The office cleaners, security officers, maintenance staff and other property service workers of 32BJ are literally keeping the lights on in buildings throughout Ward 2 during this unprecedented crisis. They deserve fair contracts, predictable schedules, and the ability to afford to live and thrive right here in D.C.”

“The men and women who are risking their lives to keep us safe during this pandemic, need leaders who will take the necessary steps to best protect their livelihoods and health,” said 32BJ SEIU Vice President, Jaime Contreras. “Grossman and Todd understand that these essential workers who keep our economy running need and deserve essential pay to better support their families.”  

With more than 173,000 members in six states, including over 20,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area and Baltimore, MD, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.