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PNS Daily Newscast - September 30, 2020 

Trump and Biden square off in a debate marked by interruptions; COVID-19 highlights neglect of undocumented residents.

2020Talks - September 30, 2020 

Last night was filled with interruptions at the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Cleaners From PA and Other States Rally for New Contract

September 29, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - Thousands of cleaners and other property-service workers from Pennsylvania and several other states turned out by the thousands Wednesday, calling for a fair contract.

What these workers want from their employers, says Wayne MacManiman, area director for the Mid Atlantic District of Service Employees International Union 32 BJ, is what anyone expects from their jobs.

"A priority to us would be to protect what we bargained for over the past 10 years in terms of health benefits, bettering our pensions, things like that, but I would say health care is our No. 1 issue."

MacManiman says his union works to clear up the perception that people who are janitors don't deserve decent wages.

"I don't look at them as janitors. I look at them as people working hard trying to support their families, trying to support their communities and things like that, and we need good-paying jobs."

In terms of what has to happen at the bargaining table for a strike to be averted, MacManiman says what employers are willing to do on health care will set the tone.

"We don't know what the position of management is going to be, and I can just tell you that health care is going to be a very, very serious issue for us if the approach is to attack that in any way, shape or form."

About 2,600 members who work in Philadelphia are due up first for contract talks, MacManiman says, so locals in other parts of Pennsylvania and in other states are keeping a close watch on how those talks go. He says a vote taken Wednesday by the property-service workers in Philadelphia authorized the union to call a strike if negotiations fail to move forward.

The contract expires at 12:01 a.m. Oct 16.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA