INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Several protesters attempting to “draw attention to the plight of Indy janitors” were detained and ticketed after blocking traffic downtown Tuesday.
Supporters of Service Employees International Union Local 1 Janitors gathered outside the Regions Tower at Ohio and Pennsylvania around 4 p.m.
When protesters began congregating in the intersection, blocking all lanes of Ohio Street, police say officers told them to clear the street or they would be subjected to arrest.
According to police, the protesters refused to stop obstructing traffic, so officers detained them and issued failure to comply tickets to 44 people. The detained protesters were later released after receiving their citations.
The rally was held a day before the union’s contract negotiations were set to resume with cleaning companies. The group says the outcome of the current contract negotiations will determine wages and working conditions for more than 600 Indianapolis janitors.
The union says janitors in the Circle City earn salaries as low as $9.75, without affordable health insurance and sick leave. This has caused many to rely on public assistance to make ends meet, according to the union.
The next bargaining session between janitors and cleaning companies, GSF, SBM, Platinum Cleaning and ABM is set for Wednesday.