Despite BMO’s $4 B in profits last year, Milwaukee janitors at BMO live in poverty
150 Janitors and supporters from labor, community and faith groups came to BMO Harris Bank to call on BMO to support good jobs this week. Despite making billions in profits last year, BMO Harris contracts with a janitorial company, CleanPower, that pays employees just about $9,000 a year without benefits or affordable health care.
In a city where more than 3 of every 4 schoolchildren need free or reduced lunch during the school day and more than 1 in 4 live below the poverty level, BMO Harris is contributing to the cycle of poverty by hiring a janitorial company that provides substandard poverty wage jobs to clean its offices.
When companies like CleanPower pay poverty wages and benefits, they force their employees to rely on taxpayer funded benefits programs to meet their basic needs. With an annual income as low as $8,500, CleanPower’s janitors are eligible for Wisconsin’s food assistance programs, public health benefits, and housing assistance.