TRENTON – The union representing 7,000 office building cleaners in New Jersey said this morning it will prepare for a possible strike on Dec. 31 if today’s last-scheduled bargaining session proves unsuccessful.
New Jersey State Director of 32BJ Kevin Brown is scheduled to provide a public update on talks at approximately 3 p.m. today at the Hilton at Gateway Center in Newark during a break in talks.
According to the union, it began talks more than two months ago with a consortium of cleaning contractors but said that they remain far apart on wages and health care issues.
32BJ SEIU has more than 120,000 members in eight states and Washington, D.C., including about 9,000 in New Jersey.
In New York City, a Dec. 31 deadline looms for 22,000 office cleaners as contract talks there also enter their final days.
Hanging over the talks is the lingering recession and the toll it has taken on office occupancies and rents.
A spokesperson for the union said that while their workers do clean some state buildings, the overwhelming majority work in privately owned buildings.