Houston janitors' strike ends in contract
On November 20, The Washington Post reports
After a month-long strike featuring local, national, and international demonstrations, Houston janitors reached an agreement with five major cleaning contractors that will double their income and provide them with health insurance by 2009. The 5,300 mostly female, mostly Latino janitors represented by the Service Employees International Union will see their wages rise from $5.30 per hour on average to $7.75 by Jan. 1, 2009. Their shifts will also lengthen to six hours, as opposed to four hours or less, over the next three years, according to the agreement. They will be offered [employer-subsidized] health coverage in 2009. … [The] announcement marked the first victory in the right-to-work South for SEIU’s long-running Justice for Janitors campaign. … “If Houston janitors can win by standing together, then workers anywhere can win by standing together,” said SEIU spokesperson Lynda Tran.
Houston’s ABC station’s blog offers a few more details of the agreement as well as a sigh of relief that Houstonians will suffer “No more random traffic jams in the Galleria or Downtown!” (Most of the blog readers’ comments are a little less tongue-in-cheek.)
Also pay a visit to the janitors’ website.