Property Services workers are janitors, security officers, maintenance and custodial workers, stadium and arena workers, window cleaners, and other workers who provide important services.
Approximately 250,000 SEIU property services workers nationwide clean, maintain, and provide security for commercial office buildings, co-ops, and apartment buildings, as well as public facilities like theaters, stadiums, and airports.
SEIU was originally formed by janitors and chartered in 1921 as the “Building Service Employees International Union” (BSEIU). BSEIU’s charter members were mostly immigrants in Chicago working as flat and loft janitors — toiling 12-hour days for $10 a week and the privilege of living with their families in dark basement apartments. Chicago-based Local 1, the first local, is still thriving today.
About 2000 SEIU Local 49 property services members work for most of the largest janitorial contractors in the Portland Metro Area, including American Building Maintenance [ABM], Portland Habilitation Center [PHC], Somers Building Maintentance [SBM], and GCA Services Group.
Local 49 members clean
• about 70% of the commercial office space in downtown Portland
• much of the high-tech office space in the Western suburbs, including the Intel campus in Hillsboro
• Portland State University, Oregon State University in Corvallis, Reed College, Lewis & Clark College, and Oregon Health & Science University campuses
• Hillsboro Public Schools, Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, WA, and Ridgefield Public Schools in Ridgefield, WA
• many of the City, County, State, and Federal office buildings in Portland, and
• the PDX Airport