Janitors call on all low wage workers to “Take Back Millionaire City”
Houston janitors who clean the offices of some of the world’s wealthiest companies unanimously voted today to give their bargaining committee the power to call a strike. Houston janitors also called on working people across the city to stand with them to restore fairness to our economy and good jobs to “Millionaire City.”
“Like many Houstonians, we are working harder and harder and falling further behind. Every day I see my neighborhood crumbling. Everyone says Houston is doing great, but that’s not the reality for many people,” says Sixta Gonzalez, a Houston janitor.
Despite the fact that Houston is home to more millionaires than any other US city, the city’s 3,200 janitors are struggling to raise families on less than $9,000 a year, a salary below half the poverty level. One in five workers in Houston are paid well below the estimated cost of living for a family of three. Janitors and community supporters are calling on cleaning companies, building owners and the richest corporations in the country to do their part and create good middle class jobs for Houston.
“Before we went on strike in 2006, all the odds were against us. The biggest corporations in the world laughed at us. We lived in the shadows. But we showed that ordinary people can achieve amazing things,” says Elena Delgado, a janitor in Downtown Houston.
Despite the Houston commercial real estate market being one of the healthiest in the nation, cleaning companies are currently insisting on a contract provision that could further impoverish thousands of Houston families. Janitors and contractors reached impasse last week, with both parties walking away from the table with no future bargaining dates set. The contract expires May 31st.
The strong “yes” vote to authorize the bargaining committee to call a strike comes as our country is in the midst of massive public protest over the disappearing middle class and increasing income inequality between the richest 1% and the other 99% of the country. While the U.S. economy has grown by more than 80% in the past 30 years, a majority of those gains in wealth have gone to the richest Americans while income for 95 percent of American households has either stayed the same or fallen.
BACKGROUND: In 2006, tired of working in deplorable conditions, more than 3,000 janitors went on strike for a better future for their families with dozens arrested in acts of civil disobedience. The five-week strike captured national attention and the support of religious leaders, elected officials and Houstonians alike, winning the janitors their first union contract.
Far-right Texas Republicans prospered in the first US primary of the year as it was confirmed that Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott will square off in the battle to be the state’s next governor. Davis parlayed the national celebrity garnered from her epic filibuster last June into a high-profile bid to become Texas’s first Democratic governor in two decades.
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Ted Nugent, the old rocker from the Seventies, is now just plain old… and off his rocker.
A political novelty act for the far right and a front man for the National Rifle Association, Nugent regularly spews venomous, vulgar, race-laced, abusive hate speech about liberals, Democrats, gun laws, and creeping communism. In January, for example, he tongue-lashed President Obama, calling him a "communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel."
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A Texas judge has struck down that state's ban on gay marriage.
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John Steen | Wilson County News 03 Nov 2013 Hits:413 Texas
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The Texas billionaire's foundation has come through with a major gift to the beleaguered women's health provider
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The U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday that it will challenge Texas’s Voter ID law, saying it violates the Voting Rights Act, as well as the Constitution’s 14th and 15th Amendments.
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The Texas anti-abortion bill, which threatened to close nearly all of the abortion clinics in the state and prompted an 11-hour filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), is dead, The Austin American-Statesman reported.
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Huffington Post 26 Jun 2013 Hits:706 Texas
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Texas teachers were up early on the first day of spring break working on their lesson plan. But it wasn't for their students.
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Texas lawmakers are stepping into a debate about whether Austin should require companies to pay a “living wage” to construction workers to qualify for economic development deals.
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The party is launching a full-scale offensive in the Lone Star with the aim of slowly turning the GOP stronghold into a battleground state
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This is the kind of story that people look back on after a tragedy and say: Well, that was a bad idea.
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Last week, more than 3,200 janitors in Houston called an end to their five-week strike.
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Legislators Who Have Cut Ties With ALEC