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Janitors Vote to Unionize at D.C. Veterans Hospital

Reston, Va. (May 13, 2022) - The employees who clean the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Washington D.C. voted to join LIUNA Public Service Employees Local Union 572 (Local 572).

There are approximately 60 janitors at the VA Medical Center. Of the 48 who voted, 25 voted in favor of the union and 7 votes were challenged.

Workers nationwide are taking a stand to create better workplaces as evidenced by the 57 percent increase in petitions for union elections. In this case, the janitors sought union representation over wages and leave.

“These employees are not being treated like the essential employees that they are,” said Dennis L. Martire, LIUNA Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager. “Realizing that they have the power to make a difference, they used their right to unionize and showed tremendous strength.”

The janitors expressed an interest in organizing in February 2022 and Local 572 filed for an election in April 2022.

In that same month, employees and union representatives protested outside of the VA Medical Center after the janitorial contractor, HamHed, LLC., hired union-busting firm, Jackson-Lewis P.C., in response to filing for the union election.