CHICAGO — Union airport workers held a prayer vigil outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home, urging him to reconsider giving O'Hare Airport custodial services to a contractor that uses non-union workers, according to WBBM-TV.
In just two weeks, janitors and window washers will lose their jobs when a new contractor takes over custodial services, the article stated.
According to the article, the union custodial workers, who are employed by Scrub Inc., are being pushed out at O’Hare after Emanuel awarded a new janitorial contract to United Maintenance, a non-union firm.
"It's meant the world to me so far, up until now, because it was how I provide for my family," said 25-year-old Jermaine Samples, a member of Service Employees International Union Local 1 (SEIU1) who is about to lose his $15 an hour job.
"I just refuse to go back to where I started. It took so long, and it was so hard to get there. Fifteen dollars is, like, a lot to me because nobody in my family ever made that. I never went to college, so for a kid like me who never went to college to make that kind of money … it’s good," Samples added.
The union is claiming the switch in contractors isn't about saving money, as the city’s request for proposals actually called for more workers than it currently employs, the article noted.
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