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Name: Christo
Gender: Male
Hometown: Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Home country: USA
Current location: Santa Cruz, CA
Member since: Thu Aug 31, 2006, 03:14 AM
Number of posts: 3,022

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Journal Archives

Three Thousand San Francisco Janitors Prepare for a Strike

San Francisco, California - The national confrontation between janitors and some of the world's richest property owners has arrived in San Francisco where, on Wednesday, over two thousand building cleaners shut down the city's main artery, Market Street, in a huge march. Later, twenty-seven workers and supporters were arrested in a financial district intersection as they blocked it in an act of civil disobedience.

Among the many banners carried by the marchers, by far the most common was one that said, "We Are Ready to Strike the 1%." It clearly summed up workers' anger, which made this march even larger than one three days earlier and others organized during the weeks prior.

The local already took a vote to authorize a strike when its contract expired on July 31 with the city's main building service employers, Able Building Maintenance, American Building Maintenance and the San Francisco Contractors Association. That was fine with janitor Mohamed Ismael, who said, "A strike is possible. We don't like to go on strike, but if they don't make a reasonable proposal, if they tell us this is what you're going to get, if we go to the end of the line, then it's better for us to go on strike."

At issue in San Francisco is the same sticking point in most union contract negotiations - health care costs and wages. San Francisco janitors are the second most highly paid in the country, after New York City, but the city's living costs are so high that few can afford to live there. Ismael was fortunate enough to find affordable housing in the city 20 years ago. But now, the contractors are demanding that workers pay $600 a month for family health care coverage and he has a wife and four children. They offer a raise of 50 an hour, which would total about $85, resulting in an effective wage cut of $515 a month.


Miranda claims bitterly "they're forcing families out of their homes. We have these benefits because our union has been here for 78 years. We're saying, don't take away what we already have. They're offering 50 and they have revenues of millions. We absolutely cannot afford to pay this."

Olga Miranda, president of Service Employees Local 87.Ismael works at Embarcadero Center 4, one of four huge office and retail buildings on the San Francisco waterfront owned by Boston Properties, which reported total revenue of $1.7 billion in 2011.


But the real wealth and power in relation to the janitors belongs to Boston Properties and other real estate investment groups. They dictate the terms of the contracts for cleaning the offices of their tenants, another extremely wealthy group that includes banks like Wells Fargo and other major corporations. Nevertheless, cleaning contractors are hardly mom-and-pop operations and haven't been for decades. They're large corporations themselves. Able and its main San Francisco rival, ABM, clean buildings for real estate trusts throughout the US and all over the world.


If San Francisco's 3,000 union janitors go on strike, it will be the first time since 1996 and the largest janitorial strike since the huge Los Angeles walkout of 2000. The other big janitors' local in California, United Service Workers West, almost struck over similar employer demands when its contracts expired April 30, which cover 10,000 members in the East Bay, Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Orange County. After marches and civil disobedience agreements were settled in June.

More here:

We need to take to the streets and fight for the rights our parents and grandparents won for us. The assault on the poor and the working class will continue until we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!
Posted by StrictlyRockers | Fri Aug 10, 2012, 04:02 PM (0 replies)

"Just be honest, put a scarlet 'H' on your shirt and say, I am a ..."

I do love the way this man thinks. He cuts through the bullshit sometimes.

Posted by StrictlyRockers | Wed Aug 8, 2012, 04:27 AM (5 replies)

Mitt Romney "will fight medical marijuana, tooth and nail"

This man is living so far in the past. He's really starting to piss me off lately. How does such a clueless dude make it so far? I suppose after Dubya it shouldn't surprise me all that much. But Wilted M. Bombing really is a neanderthal.

Posted by StrictlyRockers | Fri Jul 27, 2012, 12:04 AM (13 replies)

Thanks, you guise!!

DU still rocks.

I will keep at it. I just had a moment there.

Thanks for the support!


Posted by StrictlyRockers | Fri Feb 10, 2012, 03:21 AM (0 replies)

Major bitchfest = DU sux now, and I hate it

I can't figure it out. I use forums all the time. I've been on DU for a long, long time. I can't get used to this new format.

Can anyone help me out here? Why can't I find a listing of the Greatest Threads anymore? Why do i have to hunt to find information? Why does it not seem user-friendly to me anymore? I hate it. I've stopped using it. I will find other sites.

It wasn't broken. It was working fine. Now you've fixed it and it is totally broken for me. I used to LOVE this site. Kinda bummed!


Posted by StrictlyRockers | Mon Feb 6, 2012, 02:25 AM (17 replies)
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