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Janitors represented by SEIU to vote Saturday on authorizing strike

Union janitors around New England plan to vote Saturday to authorize a strike if their contract with about a dozen janitorial companies is not settled­ by Sept. 30.

About 14,000 office cleaners represented by SEIU Local 615, are demanding full-time hours, which would allow them to have health insurance and higher wages.

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Two-thirds of the union’s members work fewer than the 30 hours a week required for them to be eligible for the health benefit, and a quarter of them are within two hours of reaching that number. Many janitors who clean the offices of major corporations are on state health insurance, said Rocio Saenz, the president of Local 615.

The janitors have been in negotiations with the cleaning companies since Aug. 21.

Matt Ellis, a spokesman for the Maintenance Contractors of New England, said the companies are continuing to negotiate with the union to preserve jobs.

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