Wednesday, March 31, 2010

SEIU threatens to take Houston's janitors on strike

From the Houston Chronicle:

The labor agreement covering 3,200 Houston janitors expires at midnight without a new contact in place, but they'll keep working for now.

A union representative said negotiations will continue Wednesday because scheduling conflicts kept representatives of the janitors and commercial cleaning companies from meeting earlier.

About 1,800 janitors who are represented by the Service Employees International Union signed petitions vowing to go on strike if necessary, said union spokeswoman Leslie Mendoza Kamstra.

The janitors are seeking higher wages and fully paid health benefits, she said. They earn $7.75 an hour, which is 50 cents more than the federal minimum wage, and pay $20 a month for health care.

Actually, the unionized janitors only make $7.65 an hour, since the SEIU takes $0.10 an hour in union dues.

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