NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Thousands of janitors in New Jersey are threatening to strike after their contract expires at the end of the year.

Kevin Brown, vice president of the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, said 7,000 janitors have agreed to a work stoppage if the union cannot reach a deal with the New Jersey Contractors Association. Arenas, commercial buildings, PATH stations, schools could be impacted.

Pay is the main sticking point in the dispute, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported. Brown said the union is fighting for at least $15 an hour for all workers — most currently make $13.

“And to start lower is ridiculous,” Brown said.

Ederle Vaughan has been a janitor for nine years and has worked at the Prudential Center since it opened. But the mother of three said she and many of her co-workers must work two jobs to make ends meet.

“We’re getting out there, we’re striking because we work hard, and we deserve a better pay,” she said.

The Contractors Association has not responded to WCBS 880’s request for comment.

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