Houston Janitors Win!

Via Indymedia Houston:

After four weeks of striking, Houston janitors have won a contract!

Houston janitors with the SEIU announced today at City Hall that they've won a contract. A really energetic group of janitors and supporters gathered for the 4pm press conference to announce the news. Mayor Bill White was there to express his support for the janitors and their push for better wages.

Everybody was so excited! Janitors, SEIU organizers, and community supporters were hugging and crying, giving thank yous and congratulations.

And here:
The Janitors won a victory today to be announced later tonight in detail. But the gist of it is:
- they will now be under a contract

- over the next three years they will go up gradually to $7.75

- over the next three years they will get more benefits and full time status with at least 30 hours per week

At the announcement at City Hall, Mayor White thanked the hard work of various downtown building owners in reaching the agreement, singling one out as an MVP, despite years of oppressive treatment of these workers.

There will be celebration tonight at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Way to go! I've no doubt at all that the widespread blog coverage and general outrage at the Houston police and their treatment of the janitors had a lot to do with the cleaning firms' decisions to return to the negotiating table after days of recalcitrance.

Next up: justice for those who were trampled by horses and abused in custody. Let's see Mayor White, a Democrat, do something about that!

Tags: class war, direct action, Houston janitors, strike, Unions (all tags)

Comments

4 Comments

Re: Houston Janitors Win!

Good On Them!

And I hope the Mounted Police who abused their powers get sent to prison, which would be their worst nightmare. Cops don't fare well in prison, since they put most of their "neighbors" there to begin with.

by dabuddy 2006-11-20 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Houston Janitors Win!

Where was Mayor White when his police were abusing the strikers?  Why didn't he know?  Who was responsible?

Congratulations to bloggers - and the janitors and their supporters.

Where was the media?

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-20 06:22PM | 0 recs
NOT a victory...

This deal is a major blow and a capitulation.  This same deal was offered over 3 months ago and turned down by the union.  Acceptance of it now is an embarrassment and a major loss.

by The Last Liberal 2006-11-20 10:07PM | 0 recs
Re: NOT a victory...

The janitors think they have won I'm not going to disagree with them. Here's what's been agreed in more detail:

Wages: $1.15 increase the first year, $1.00 the second year, and $.50 the third year.

Health Care: The third year is when single payer health insurance will kick in and janitors will pay $20 per month into that plan. It is a plan designed and managed by SEIU and we are hoping to get all of our members nationwide on this plan.

Vacation: Two weeks paid vacation per year

Holidays: 6 paid Holidays

Hours: 1st year everyone must work a minimum of 4 hours a day, 2nd year everyone must work a minimum of 5 hours per day, 3rd year everyone must work a minimum of 6 hours per day.

Protection: We have a grievance procedure in place. We have protection for all of the striking workers to get their jobs back with no discipline, We have a disciplinary procedure in place so that no one can be illegally fired for no reason any more.

Is that the same deal?

Even if it is, eventual compromise is not always a loss. As Nathan Newman recently said, "Just surviving in the face of political and corporate assaults by a rightwing that wants to kill off labor is an underestimated victory."

Regards, Cernig

by Cernig 2006-11-21 07:03AM | 0 recs

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