December 01, 2005
SEIU in Texas

Just wanted to make sure you saw today's story about the SEIU organizing some 5000 janitors in Houston, which is a pretty big deal considering that the push to do so started in the spring. In case you're wondering why janitors might choose to unionize:

"Wages are clearly the No. 1 issue," said Dan Schlademan, vice president of SEIU Local 1 in Chicago, who was in Houston for the announcement.

Bargaining for the first contract is expected to begin soon he said. But he added that it's too early to say what kind of wage and benefits package the union will try to negotiate.

It would be a "great victory," Schlademan said, if the janitors received a $1 an hour raise, which would represent a nearly 20 percent increase.

The janitors earn an average hourly wage of $5.30 and receive no health care benefits, according to the union. The minimum wage is $5.15.

So for the privilege of emptying garbage cans and mopping floors, they get about $10K a year with no health care benefits. Yeah, I'd want some bargaining power, too. Kudos, guys. You can read more at MyDD, TAPPED, and Nathan Newman.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 01, 2005 to Bidness | TrackBack

Whcih of the 2 unions actually does a better job for the workers?

Posted by: ttyler5 on December 3, 2005 8:01 PM

To see SEIU organizing not only in Houston, but in San Antonio and the Valley is exciting. Many years ago I was an active member of SEIU Local 84 (now defunct) when I worked for the San Antonio Indep;endent School District. Back then the groundskeepers earned between $300 - 340 a month. Today they earn a starting wage of $9.17 per hour!

I work in a nursing home as a social worker and would help out if SEIU wants to organize another group of exploited and underpaid workers!

En Solidaridad,


Posted by: Frank V. on December 10, 2005 6:30 PM