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Office Cleaners In D.C. Area Threaten Strike

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Jimmy Dominic

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — About 12,000 office cleaners in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are threatening to strike when their contract expires this week.

The union representing the cleaners is asking for wage increases, fewer staffing cuts and health-care benefits for more workers. According to The Washington Post, the union says only about a third of the office cleaners in the Washington area are full-time and get health benefits.

But the cleaning companies that employ the workers say they’re still struggling because of the shaky economy. They say the current wages and benefits were agreed to in 2007, when the economy was in much better shape. They’re asking to maintain the current contract, at least for one year. It expires at midnight on Oct. 15.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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