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article imageUber, Airbnb workers to benefit from new S.F. janitors contract

By Nathan Salant     Aug 4, 2016 in Business
San Francisco - Workers for web-enabled car and home rental services will be paid more under a deal with San Francisco's janitors' union negotiated with the help of the city's mayor.
The deal between SEIU Local 87 and janitorial service companies, which is still tentative, was reached Wednesday, avoiding a threatened strike that would have crippled cleaning services in San Francisco office buildings.
Workers at Uber and Airbnb, which have headquarters in San Francisco and are represented by Local 87, will receive the benefits of the new contract, which raises starting pay from $13.45 per hour to more than $17 per hour by 2019, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"This was not a given, we weren't sure just one day ago," said union spokesman Alan Benjamin.
“We as a union are very proud that the bargaining team stuck to its guns,” he said.
Members are expected to ratify the new contract by Friday, the Chronicle said.
Hundreds of janitors demonstrated outside San Francisco City Hall on Wednesday after Mayor Ed Lee said he was joining the talks to push for a quick settlement.
The pressure apparently worked — the workers got the pay increases they wanted, Benjamin said.
Workers will also retain low co-payments for heath care plans and dental coverage, and receive higher contributions to pension funds and a strengthened grievance process, he said.
Minimum wage in San Francisco is $13, and is scheduled to increase by one dollar an hour in July and another dollar in July 2018.
Hundreds of janitors have been demonstrating around the city for the past week, including a protest at First and Market streets in which 17 people were arrested.
The contract covers 85 percent of union members who clean downtown office buildings, including the newspaper's offices at Fifth and Mission streets, union officials said.
SEIU is the acronym for Service Employees International Union.
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