Issued June 15, 2021
“Today is Justice for Janitors Day, and I proudly stand with janitors - who are a majority women and immigrant workforce. This week thousands of cleaners will be taking to the streets to demand fair wages, healthcare, a just and humane immigration system, and so much more. For 31 years, essential janitors have fearlessly stepped up to demand that they be respected, protected, and paid. Our fight will continue until corporations and Congress honor the essential work janitors have provided before, during and after this deadly pandemic. We must also honor the fact that the Justice for Janitors movement was spurred mostly by immigrants who were pursuing the American Dream and the ability to find dignity in their work, so it’s fitting that this movement shares the day with the anniversary of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which, for the past nine years, has given hundreds of thousands of people renewed hope, a better future and a stable life. SEIU will continue to fight alongside our workers and immigrant communities until corporations and congress respect, protect, and pay them. We cannot wait any longer,” said Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employee International Union (SEIU).
“In 1990, janitors came together to fight for better wages and basic rights so that they had a chance to realize the American Dream. 22 years later, President Obama gave hundreds of thousands of immigrants a chance at the American Dream through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Today, as we mark the anniversary of these historic moments in our movement, we’re still fighting for better wages, worker protections, immigration reform, and so much more. Janitors, security officers, and all immigrants are essential to our country. They are the very people who have helped keep us safe during this deadly pandemic and they will help this country become more resilient than ever. Together, we are demanding the respect, pay, and protection that we have earned and deserve,” said Executive Vice President Rocio Sáenz.