Janitors arrested following civil disobedience over pay in Houston

The lowest paid workers in some of the biggest companies in the world - take direct action against the bosses for better pay.

Submitted by working class … on August 1, 2012

Houston Police has arrested seven janitors who were taking part in a peaceful sit-down protest over pay. Groups of around 150 strikers linked arms and sat in the lobbies of their workplaces.

There are currently around 750 janitors on strike across 50 buildings in the city. They are demanding a pay rise from $8.35 an hour – to $10 an hour. The average in other cities around the US is $15.50 an hour.

The union (SEIU), which represents around 3500 janitors in Houston, has chosen specific targets for strikes, rather than a city-wide strike.

Janitors from as far away as Chicago went to Houston to support the strikers. They took the lead in the civil disobedience to try and ensure that any arrests would be people from out of town, therefore at a lesser risk of being sacked.

The arrestees have been charged with trespassing, and are facing up to 180 days in prison.

There are 500 protesters in support of the Janitors in the Galleria area of Houston, and there are solidarity strikes in 17 other cities across the US.

A short film clip can be seen here



11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mrjanebot on August 4, 2012

Quick fact check — while 7 people were arrested Wed. morning, only four of them were janitors. Maybe not a crucial detail, but good to know. (As stated in this article, most of those arrested so far have not been Houston janitors, but local activists and out-of-town janitors. However, some Houston janitors have been arrested too.)