Members of the Service Employees International Union Local 105, who work as janitors at Denver International Airport, have voted to strike over pay and workload.
Union officials said on Wednesday that 99% of the nearly 250 SEIU members who voted during the three days of voting voted in favor of the strike. The union said in a statement that if the agreement is not reached before the end of Thursday, the strike could start from Friday.
About 350 janitors work for California-based Flagship Aviation Services, which won the contract at DIA in February. The company did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday evening.
“We put ourselves at risk every day to keep this airport running through COVID,” said Densley Filbert, a janitor at the airport for 16 years. “We are sick of being mindless, overworked, underpaid, and underrepresented for our work.”
The union said that after weeks of negotiations, the flagship refused to negotiate a fair contract. SEIU spokesman David Fernandez said one of the goals is to make sure the job pays enough to handle the rising cost of living.
Fernandez said janitors working for the flagship earn about $17 an hour.
Another major issue is workload, Fernandez said. “All these chowkidars have had a lot of workload during the whole pandemic because there are not enough people.”