Portland’s Union Janitors and Security Officers Unite in Pursuit of Fair Contracts

Aerial view of protesters all round an intersection
Janitors taking action in March to stand up for union jobs in Portland.

Expiring June 30: the union contracts covering the janitors and security officers who clean and secure Portland’s downtown, Lloyd District, Central Eastside Industrial District, Kruse Way, and the Silicon Forest.

Thousands of union janitors and security officers in the Portland metro area and Southwest Washington are coming together to bargain for fair wage increases and maintaining their affordable healthcare and other benefits. Janitors ensure the cleanliness and maintenance of office buildings and security officers patrol our downtown spaces, ensuring safety and security for all.  

Janitors and security officers love our region and are proud of the work they do to clean and secure their worksites. And these workers are deeply committed to the work of supporting Portland’s next chapter, by partnering with commercial building owners, property managers, and the City of Portland to revitalize our commercial center and restore Portland’s vibrancy. 

Portland’s janitors and security officers have been on the front lines of every crisis our region has weathered in recent years. They showed up for work – in person – despite Covid lockdowns, social distancing, and mask requirements. They went to work during the racial justice protests that rocked downtown Portland; were there during life-threatening climate events such as wildfires, the heat dome, and ice storms; and continued to go to work, often at night, facing personal risk and broken car windows as the proliferation of crime and drug use filled the vacuum caused by rising commercial vacancies in our downtown core.  

These frontline essential workers weathered this uncertainty and upheaval while contending with record-setting inflation that steadily chipped away at the buying power of their wages. Growing inflation has made it harder for workers to provide for their families and pay for basics such as food, housing, childcare, and healthcare. 

An important part of our region’s future is an investment in and commitment to good jobs for all workers throughout our region. Portland’s janitors and security officers are part of a nation-wide movement, joining janitors and security officers across the country in their fight for a fair contract. Bargaining begins in mid-May – stay tuned and keep watching this space for updates on the contract bargaining that will impact you, your commercial investments, and the overall health and economic well-being of our region.