Victory for janitors. . .victory for labor. . .victory for community
Janitors in Houston, Texas ended their month-long strike last week after agreeing to a new contract with the city's major cleaning firms that will deliver wage increases of almost 50% over the next two years. Just as important is the agreement's provision to provide the workers health coverage.
Organizing under the umbrella of the Service Employees International Union, 5,300 janitors celebrated a new labor agreement that will see their hourly wages move up from $5.25 per hour to $7.75 by January 1, 2009.
Employers also agreed to give their employees more daily hours, increasing the typical shift from four hours to six hours. For a 30-hour work week, an employee will earn around $12,000 annually when the agreement is fully realized.
The janitors rightfully celebrated their success.
But think about it. Could you live on $12,000 a year?
No doubt, most of these workers have other jobs, as do their spouses and other family members.
Workers coming together to organize for their rights in the workplace and in the larger economy is a good sign of renewed community hard at work.
And watch it, over the next two years none of the major cleaning firms will go out of business.
Larry's new book, now available from Amazon.com! Also, now in Kindle format! To place your order visit Amazon.com today! Also, available at Barnes and Noble bookstores and on the web. Click on the image above to order!
Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.