The J4J Difference

Why the J4J Model Works

In the past, cleaners at different work locations organized and attempted to negotiate contracts with management separately from each other. While this ‘one building/one contract’ approach resulted in some improvements it has not given us the bargaining power to raise standards significantly.

The Justice for Janitors approach is different. By uniting cleaning workers across an entire city (or market), and calling upon community leaders to join them, workers begin to gain the necessary power to demand significant improvements to wages, benefits and working conditions.

Forging Ahead: Toronto’s Journey

Workers in Toronto have made great strides since the launch of the J4J campaign in 2007. See what a difference J4J has made in Toronto. Cleaners in other cities are looking to take similar steps in their next CBA.

Montreal’s Success Story

Janitors in Montreal launched their campaign years before the workers in Toronto. They united and transformed poverty-wage jobs in their city into work with a brighter future through a Justice for Janitors style campaign.

The gains those janitors have made when compared to non-union janitors (and unionized janitors that have not yet carried out the J4J plan) are obvious.

Montreal Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton & Vancouver
Snapshot in Time
>80% of janitors are covered by a single collective bargaining agreement negotiated by SEIU.
Every janitor in the city benefits.
>80% of janitors are covered by a single collective bargaining agreement negotiated by SEIU. Every janitor in the city benefits.

Many have company-wide agreements with important improvements. Some unionized janitors have individual building contracts.Non-unionized janitors are not protected by any collective agreement and are vulnerable to labour right violations.

It’s a race to the bottom for all workers until all major companies agree to single collective bargaining.


At least $15/hr with steady incremental raises.

Unionized janitors have modest pay increases with steady incremental raises.Pay is still not yet enough for families to have financial security.Non-unionized janitors generally make minimum wage with no raise in sight.
 Benefits Full family benefits and a retirement plan for unionized janitors. Unionized janitors have won benefits in Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver.Workers in other cities are taking steps to win them in their next Collective Bargaining Agreement or improve what they already have.Non-unionized janitors have no benefits.
Sick Leave Yes. No, however unionized janitors have won a number of other paid days off.


For more information, contact an SEIU Rep.

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