WBBM Newsradio/Andy Dahn

Chicago Window Washers Strike, Demand New Contract

July 02, 2018 - 3:41 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago window washers ditched their cleaning equipment for signs and megaphones as they marched and rallied downtown Monday morning.

"The window washers are on strike today," said Tom Balanoff, President of SEIU Local 1. "We will be on strike until we reach a fair settlement."

Cruz Guzman has been a window washer for almost 10 years.

"Many people in the city of Chicago tell us they wouldn't do this for a million bucks," Guzman told the large crowd, gathered at the foot of Trump Tower.

"Guess what? We make $12 an hour to be on the side of a building. You're out there, washing windows, putting your life at risk for pennies."

Members of SEIU Local 1 are demanding a new, three-year contract.

"They go up there every day, when it's cold, when it's windy, all to keep these windows clean," Balanoff said. "They work hard. Now, they're demanding a fair wage, better healthcare and better protection on their life insurance."

Balanoff said the union stands ready to negotiate with employers, but until then: "There's not going to be a clean window in this city."