“On December 19 they gave us that little Christmas present. They sent us a statement that there is no work anymore.”
Alba is one of twelve employees who cleaned the Twitter offices in the Chelsea building for years until, like Maria, she learned that the new year would not bring the continuity she expected, but uncertainty for the first time since she left in 2015. Took the job
This time they—despite the rain—joined dozens of 32BJ SEIU members on the street in front of their workplace.
“NOW: Janitors cleaning Twitter HQ from New York to the Bay are rallying outside Twitter HQ in Manhattan to demand answers and get their union jobs back. Essential Janitors are not disposable Support”, union 32BJ SEIU posted on social media. Wrote in a message on the network.
NOW: The janitors cleaning Twitter HQ from NYC to the BAY are rallying outside @Twitter Headquarters in Manhattan to answer and demand their union jobs! Essential janitors are not disposable Support: https://t.co/cXBIJlbIB2#UnionsForAll #justiceforgenitors pic.twitter.com/Ersw4kMpP9
— 32BJ SEIU /// #UnionStrong (@32BJSEIU) January 25, 2023
With more than 175,000 members in 12 states, it is the largest real estate service worker union in the country, representing more than 20,000 commercial office cleaners in all five boroughs.
“They didn’t give us any explanation, only that today was our last day. The whole group didn’t like us because we weren’t expecting it. I have my mother who is very sick and dependent on me and I also have medical health problems and we don’t have,” said Maria Gomez, one of the fired cleaners.
Maria held up a photo of her mother, who was diagnosed by surgeons to have an inoperable brain tumor during another surgery in August 2021.
Standing up for their rights and echoing the abyss into which all these families of workers left suddenly by layoffs and their dependents are union members, elected officials and some of the 48 employees at the social media giant’s San Francisco headquarters.
Pedro Saenz, a 32BJ SEIU union member, said, “I’ve been a member of 32BJ for 35 years and I’ve seen it all. This is the worst injustice I’ve ever seen.”
Maria, Elba and their colleagues’ request to the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, who didn’t rule out layoffs: “Give us a new opportunity.”
“That they reconsider their decision a little bit because we are people who have our jobs and who are hardworking and we want to give the best possible for that company,” said Elba Miraval, who is also a cleaner.
Another demonstration took place at the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco at the same time.