Cleveland-area janitors protest against Sherwin-Williams over concerns for losing jobs

Updated: Jan. 23, 2020 at 12:11 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Dozens of union members demonstrated against Sherwin-Williams over concerns of losing janitorial jobs.

A press conference and gathering with Service Employees International Union Local 1 was held Thursday afternoon in downtown Cleveland.

“Just because we clean toilets or stock paper and they sit at a desk with collared shirts and ties, (that) doesn’t make them any better than us," said Tiffany Gallego.

Sherwin-Williams said the janitorial service contracted by the company did not meet cleaning expectations. Numerous complaints were made by employees regarding the cleanliness of the building, according to the company.

“I come here faithfully every day and do my job and do the best I can do... so I reject that,” said longtime cleaning employee Terry Eddy.

“That job pays my bills. The job provides for me and my child, because she can’t provide for herself,” Eddy added. “If I don’t have any money, I don’t have a way to live. I’d be out on the streets.”

The company made the decision to move away from ABM cleaning services at the end of 2019, impacting nearly 30 janitorial positions in favor of privatized and non-union employees.

Corporate officials released a statement regarding Thursday’s demonstration:

The move from the current headquarters location at 101 West Prospect Avenue comes as the company is reviewing its facilities requirements to meet the needs of customers and employees.

The current site has been the headquarters for Sherwin-Williams since 1930.

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