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Philadelphia Parking-Lot Attendants Launch Union Campaign

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Carrying large mock parking tickets reading “Parking Industry in Violation,” about 50 parking-lot attendants and SEIU Local 32BJ members marched through Center City Sept. 12 to highlight the union’s campaign to organize workers at the city’s 10 parking-lot companies. The attendants, many of whom are immigrants, make $7 to $10 an hour and often either don’t get health-care benefits or can’t afford the plans their employers offer, the union told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Ernest Coleman, an attendant for LAZ Parking at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, said he makes $7.25 an hour plus overtime and occasional tips, and has to work 13 to 15 hours a day, six days a week, to support his wife, who he rarely sees, and five children. The union is running an industry-wide campaign, said 32BJ vice president Gabe Morgan, because although it takes more work to win elections at multiple companies, if it organized just one operator, a company could switch to a nonunion contractor that charges less. An executive at one parking company said it pays more than Pennsylvania’s $7.25 minimum wage, but can’t afford to pay more because of city taxes. Read more

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