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Columbus janitors stage strikes in labor feud

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Members of a union representing nearly 1,000 commercial janitors in downtown Columbus are holding a series of strikes to protest alleged labor practice violations.

Service Employees International Union 1 says contract janitors who clean several prominent high-rises authorized their most recent action Tuesday, part of the city's first janitor strike.

The union alleges workers have been threatened and intimidated while seeking wage and health care concessions from four private commercial cleaning firms.

The Columbus Area Service Contractors Association says the union's latest contract proposal doesn't recognize that many janitors have received "substantial" wage increases over the last two years.

The union effort has featured politicians and clergy members as it seeks attention from owners of the buildings the janitors clean.

SEIU spokeswoman Izabela Miltko says the building owners set the tone for the working conditions.

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