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Janitors push to void cleaning contract

January 16, 2013

CHICAGO — The head of a politically powerful janitors' union has renewed calls for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to cancel a new cleaning contract at O'Hare Airport that could be worth almost $100 million, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

save our jobsTom Balanoff, president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, is alleging that United Maintenance Company Inc. has violated the city's rule requiring bidders for city business to provide officials with “current” information on their ownership, the article stated.

According to the article, Balanoff's claims come after the Chicago Sun Times reported that "United executives took a year to update their initial report to the city and reveal how President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Simon had sold a 50 percent stake in the firm to a private-equity fund."

United had already been given the O'Hare contract by the time this information came to light, the article noted.

"This is a serious deception. It's important to know who owns these companies. We all know the history of Chicago. These rules were put in place to avoid conflicts of interest," said Balanoff.

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