Janitors end strike by signing new contracts


From Houston Chronicle

SEIU (Service Employees International Union) member SIxta Gonzalez celebrates after union members ratified a new four-year contract. It will gradually raise wages from $8.35 to $9.35 an hour for most workers.

After weeks of striking and demonstrating, Houston janitors unanimously voted Saturday to ratify a contract that would increase some members’ wages by $1 over a four-year period.

About 400 janitors with the Service Employees International Union supported a contract negotiated with six of the seven companies that employ the union janitors. The contract will gradually increase workers’ pay from $8.35 an hour to $9.35 an hour. The previous contract ended on May 31.

SEUI spokeswoman Paloma Martinez said the contract was a fair solution for both the union and the cleaning companies

“This is a huge victory,” she said.

Sixta Gonzalez, 67, said she voted for the contract because workers deserved to keep their benefits. “Every time we go into a nice place, the floors shine, but no one ever asks who waxes them,” she said.

From Houston Chronicle