Office Cleaner Tells U.S. Senators of Her Financial Hardships
Senator Reid Press Conference Spotlights Struggles of Working Americans
WASHINGTON, June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Office cleaner and Local 32BJ union member, Treena Walker who works at the National Archives not far from the nation's Capitol, shared her daily struggle to keep up with the rising cost of living at a press conference today at the Capitol hosted by U.S. Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). "Democrats are working to make the American Dream possible again so that families like Treena's can get ahead," Reid said. "But Republicans are saying no to millions of struggling Americans." "It defies reason when someone like Treena comes forward to tell her story and Republicans aren't willing to do something for her," said Minnesota Senator Klobuchar. "We go to the floor of the U.S. Senate on behalf of people like Treena to try to get things done," added North Dakota Senator Dorgan. The Senators highlighted their efforts to advance policies addressing the rising cost of gas, food and housing that have been blocked by Republican lawmakers. "Money's so tight that I have to ask myself, do I go grocery shopping or do I fill up the car," said Walker, an office cleaner and single mother of three from Bladensburg, MD. "I can't afford my son's asthma medicine so I must take him to the emergency room when he runs out." Walker and her children have been staying with a relative for the last six months because she's been unable to afford rent on her own. More than 500,000 men and women work as office cleaners throughout the country. They are an invisible workforce that often works at night in multi-million dollar buildings, but struggle to make ends meet. The plight of non-union cleaners is even tougher because they may make as little as $5.85 per hour with few, if any benefits. Union cleaners, often represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), typically earn 50% more per hour, if not more, and often receive employer-paid health care coverage. "Treena is not alone in the hardships she faces trying to provide for her family in this sour economy," said Jaime Contreras, Local 32BJ Capitol Area Director. "Her story , like that of so many thousands of hard working cleaners and other service workers, should be motivation enough for government and business to work together to ease the plight of the working poor." Local 32BJ SEIU is working to improve the quality of life for families in the Mid-Atlantic region and across the nation through organizing and legislative campaigns to raise wages and benefits. The union seeks to work with lawmakers and others to end poverty and raise standards in the service sector. With more than 100,000 members in six states, including 10,000 in Washington, DC, Local 32BJ is the largest property service workers union in the country.
SOURCE SEIU Local 32BJ
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