2000: SEIU

“Justice for 29 Connecticut Janitors: The Workers’ Stories”

for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 531

by Anna Hackett, Krista Hanson, Nomi Maeyama, Benjamin Paradise


A group of four Wesleyan students, as consultants to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 531, researched the situation of subcontracted janitors employed by Initial Cleaning Services at Wesleyan University. At the time of our research, the Initial janitors had recently won union recognition and representation, and the union was negotiating a contract with Initial. After conducting a review of pertinent literature, we realized that in prior research the voices of workers had been absent. The purpose of our study was to “add a seat to the research table,” giving workers a voice in the literature and discussion of their rights and struggles. The research culminated in a half-hour video documentary.