Justice for Janitors- was getting a Houston contract really a victory?

The SEIU is hailing itself as being victorious in its struggle in Houston, after getting major janitorial services for downtown buildings to sign a union contract. The strike was noted for Houston police using their horses to push strikers around. Houston janitors only get paid minimum wages to clean out the office buildings of some of the richest corporations in the world. With their new contract, the wage will be bumped up to $6.25 this Jan. 1, and then held there for 2 years and then bumped up another whole dollar!

How the union can call such a ratty contract a victory is beside me? PLus, the strike left countless union members facing various charges and a bail of over $39,000,000 in total! The US courts definitely favor the rich, no doubt about that. To see some intersting videos about the strike, go to Houston Janitors Got to like the juxtaposition of opera with Houston cops on horses in the top video. And the other videos are of interest, too. SEIU can’t win decent contracts for its membership, but certainly is good in the video production department.

3 thoughts on “Justice for Janitors- was getting a Houston contract really a victory?

  1. AvatarRenee Asher

    The bail was reduced to $1,000.

    As for the victory, think of this. 5,300 janitors now have affordable health insurance, and will see their income rise by 126 percent.

    What do you call a victory?

  2. AvatarTony Logan Post author

    Sorry, but I just don’t consider a wage of $6.25 an hour until 2009 a victory. And neither much do the janitors, I am more than sure. Plus, I disagree with you that the health insurance is either affordable, or of any real quality.

    The trouble with such a contract is that it is so inadequate, that in a ‘right to work state’ there is not any real incentive to continue staying a union member when membership delivers so next to nothing. SEIU came in from the outside, roused up the crowd promising people everything,and then delivered shit. This is not the way to organize the South, nor the way to organize anywhere.

    What would constitute a victory you ask? How about an immediate raise to $9 or $10 an hour. Less than that in Houston is an atrocity.

  3. AvatarJonah

    I have actually worked for LESS than minimum wage in my life.
    When working for Labor Contractors, (manpower is actually one of the BEST of that breed, think about it….) they charge you to be taken to the job site, they charge rental for required safety equipment, they charge rental for tools, (2 bucks a day for a $3 shovel, c’mon man. )

    I made a little more than most of the guys because I remembered that I could go to a hardware store and buy a hard hat, gloves and safety goggles for less than 10 bucks. So I kept my own with me. plus it helps when you are hitch-hiking to work, if you are dressed like a worker they give a ride so fast it makes your head spin.

    It is sad that most of the workers in Texas don’t get anywhere near 6 bucks an hour.
    Texas is a “Right – to – work Law” state, which translates to Right to be reamed over and over by the Bosses.

    When I took the fast way off the roof 14 years ago, the pendeco I was working for had two jobs running, but only ONE ladder. So rather than spring for a 200 dollar ladder, he put me almost a hundred thousand in medical debt, skipped state instead of paying them and left MILLIONS of dollars and three years work lined up.

    That, my friends, is economics Texas style.

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