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STAMFORD, CT-The ongoing janitorial strike in Fairfield County got a bit nastier on Monday night when Stamford Police arrested four striking workers and the union president at a rally across from the Stamford train station.

Janitors Plinio Cabrera, Victor Pacheco, Ludivia Espinal, and Martha Motato were charged with obstructing free passage. Service Employees International Union Local 531 president Kurt Westby was also arrested on the same charge, union officials say. The janitors stopped traffic in front of the train station as commuters rushed to get home.

Stamford Police Lt. Brian McElligott says that the union president and the four janitors were brought to the Stamford Police Department on the misdemeanor charges and released on a written promise to appear at their court datem which was set for Nov. 6. Other than the five arrests, Lt. McElligott termed the janitors rally as peaceful.

SEIU Local 531 represents janitors in Hartford and Fairfield counties. The union has been on strike since the first week of October in Fairfield County seeking better pay and benefits from office building cleaning contractors. Talks between the cleaning contractors and janitors are scheduled to resume Oct. 25.

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