St. Louis Alderwoman arrested after protest in support of higher wages for janitors

It was an orchestrated arrest and there was a plan with police in place before the protest to avoid any violence.

Sam Masterson
January 27, 2020 - 9:16 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) updated at 1 p.m. - St. Louis police arrested protesters for blocking the street in downtown as part of an organized "civil disobedience" with local politicians in support of higher wages for janitors on Monday.

KMOX's Kevin Killeen was on the scene as about 20 protesters that had sat down in Washington Avenue and 7th Street. He saw police picking up protesters and clasping their hands with plastic handcuffs behind their backs. 

Among those arrested was Alderwoman Megan Green, which was an orchestrated arrest and there was a plan with police in place before the protest to avoid any violence.

KMOX's previous reporting:

St. Louis politicians and other organizations will participate in "civil disobedience" in support of the local janitor's union on Monday.

A press release states St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Alderwoman Megan Green, and "more than 50 supporters will "risk arrest" at the intersection of North 7th and Market, next to Kiener Plaza, at 11:45 a.m.

The contract for SEIU Local 1 Janitors is expiring soon. Supporters want $15 an hour.

Here is the full press release: 

ST. LOUIS — Joined by more than 50 supporters - including St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Ald. Megan Green (15), Rep. Jay Mosley (HD68), Rep. Wiley Price (HD84), SEIU Missouri/Kansas healthcare workers, UNITE HERE Local 74, United Autoworkers, Planned Parenthood and more - SEIU Local 1 janitors will take the street outside the US Bank Plaza in civil disobedience as their fight for a strong new contract continues. Risking arrest, their action will show how janitors are gearing up to do whatever it takes to win One St. Louis - $15 and good union jobs for every working family to make our region more equitable across racial lines.

Janitors - who clean notable sites across the region like US Bank Plaza, Express Scripts, Wells Fargo and County facilities - are struggling to support their families on wages as low as $10 an hour. Meanwhile, the racial income gap in the region has grown by more than 10 percent since 2010, with black families three times more likely to live in poverty than white.

With their existing contract expiring, and negotiations for a new one continuing later in the week, janitors and allies will show building owners that our region cannot wait for the higher wages they need to support their families. Janitors have won support from both the Board of Aldermen and County Council, who have passed resolutions supporting a $15 wage for janitors. Major institutions, like Treasurer Jones’ office, BJC Healthcare, Washington University in St. Louis, and the City of St. Louis Civil Service have put thousands on the path to a $15 wage. It’s time the same is done for janitors.

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