Fort Belvoir Janitors Authorize Strike, Federal Contractor Refuses to Bargain in Good Faith Second Year in a Row

Low-Wage Workers Could be Denied Pay Increase Without a Contract

Washington, DC –Nearly 70 janitors at Fort Belvoir have authorized their union’s bargaining committee to call a strike, if necessary early next week, against federal contractor Brown & Pipkins d/b/a Ascential in response to charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board. The men and women who keep the base safe and clean are alleging that Brown & Pipkins refuses to bargain a contract in good faith with their union, 32BJ SEIU.

Last year, Brown & Pipkins settled claims that it owed nearly $300,000 in wages and benefits, and disciplined two workers and terminated one for protected union activity.

For over nine months after Brown & Pipkins took over the janitorial contract at Fort Belvoir in September of 2012, the 70 janitors at Fort Belvoir worked without a contract while the company refused to bargain in good faith. As a consequence, workers who relied on their jobs at Fort Belvoir for health insurance lost health coverage.

After filing Wage and Hour complaints with the Department of Labor and unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB, the janitors at Fort Belvoir went on strike in February, 2013. While Brown & Pipkins eventually settled a first contract, the company is again refusing to bargain fairly on a successor.

“Nobody wants to strike, but these men and women are willing to do what’s necessary to support their families,” said 32BJ SEIU Vice President and Capital Area Director, Jaime Contreras.

With more than 125,000 members in nine states, including 17,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

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About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, actual Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA. Periodista que cubre eventos de las comunidades latinas en Washington D.C., Maryland y Virginia. Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia. Galardonado en numerosas ocasiones por parte de la Asociación Nacional de Publicaciones Hispanas (NAHP) y otras organizaciones comunitarias y deportivas de la región metropolitana de esta capital. También premiado en dos ocasiones como Mejor Periodista del Año por la cobertura de la comunidad salvadoreña; premios otorgados por la Oficina de Asuntos Latinos del Alcalde de Washington (OLA) y otras organizaciones. Ha sido miembro del jurado calificador en diferentes concursos literarios, de belleza y talento en la región metropolitana. Ha visitado zonas de desastre en Nicaragua, Honduras y El Salvador e invitado a esos países por organizaciones que asisten a personas de escasos recursos económicos. Antes trabajó en otros medios de prensa de Virginia y Washington, D.C., incluyendo reportajes para una agencia noticiosa mundial.

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