Houston Janitors conducted a strike and work stoppage on Tuesday as the companies that hire them aren’t willing to give them a $1.65 per hour raise, along with other contract requests.
Service Employees International Union has been organizing Janitors in Houston for quite some time and have achieved various successes for Janitors in the recent past. Well, the contract has ended, it is negotiation time, and it is time the seven companies in the negotiations treat their employees with some added respect; not to mention incentive, for cleaning up after them.
The janitors, whose contract expired May 31, want to boost their pay to $10 an hour over the next three years. Most janitors in Houston top out at $8.35 an hour.
Martinez said janitors might strike at other locations this week.
“We want to give owners and contractors a chance to respond,” she said. “As the weeks go by, it could get bigger.”
Let’s hope the message is received, so that all those involved achieve job security and a slight raise. Or as SEIU puts it:
As Houston’s poverty and hunger rate rise, janitors are calling attention to the income inequality that’s contributing to the deterioration of our communities. Houston janitors clean the offices of some of the richest corporations in the world, including profitable energy corporations Chevron, Exxon Mobile, Shell Oil, Penzoil, Centerpoint Energy and Reliant. Despite record profits and ballooning CEO pay, janitors who clean Houston’s office buildings are paid less than $9,000 a year—less than half the poverty level. A janitor would have to work more than 2,000 years in order to earn what the Exxon and Chevron CEOs make in just one year.