Gov. Dannel Malloy and several other prominent Connecticut officials are urging both sides to avoid a commercial building cleaners strike.
Wednesday is the last day of scheduled talks between the Hartford Area Cleaning Contractors Association and the 2,000 building cleaners represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ. The contract between the two will expire on Jan. 1, with the union prepping for a strike if a new agreement is not reached.
Malloy, Congressman John Larson (D-CT), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra are calling for an agreement that will be favorable to the 2,000 building cleaners.
The cleaners maintain some of Hartford and New Haven areas' landmark buildings and corporate centers, including the Old State House in downtown Hartford, New Haven City Hall, and Wesleyan University in Middletown.
The cleaners are asking for higher pay and healthcare coverage.
Building cleaners say they are paid $13.50 an hour under the current Hartford contract which expires at midnight on New Year's Eve. Those covered by a separate New Haven contract earn $11 an hour, union authorities said previously.
The union says commercial real estate in Hartford and New Haven is a more than $700 million industry.