Union Against Public Funding for Company Hiring Nonunion Custodians

January 22, 2020

The labor union representing custodians at Sherwin-Williams Co. is calling upon Ohio lawmakers to prevent the paint manufacturer from collecting public funding for its new headquarters because it is replacing union staff with lower-paid, nonunion workers, reports.

About 30 custodians working at Sherwin William’s current headquarters in Cleveland and represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 will be losing their jobs January 31. The company is switching to a contractor that doesn’t hire union workers.

SEIU’s custodians are paid between US$12 and $15 an hour, compared to nonunion custodians who typically receive between $9 and $10 hourly, closer to Ohio’s minimum wage of $8.70. Union leaders are concerned that Sherwin-Williams would be using taxpayer-provided funds to build a new global headquarters and research and development facility, especially as Cleveland consistently ranks near the nation’s top for poverty.

Sherwin-Williams is negotiating potential building incentives with the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Company spokespeople say they do not have control over custodians’ employment or pay, and they are replacing their cleaning contractor due to performance issues.


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