Houston Janitors Clean Up After Strike

HOUSTON JANITORS CLEAN UP AFTER STRIKE Six of the 7 janitorial services companies affected by a month-long walkout agreed to a tentative settlement late Wednesday that should end the work stoppage by more than 3,000 Houston janitors. Beginning next January, janitors will earn an additional 25 cents an hour each year, bringing their pay to $9.35 an hour by 2016. The Service Employees International Union Local 1 had sought an increase to $10 an hour over 3 years, beginning a strike early last month after the companies offered only a 50-cent increase over 5 years. The janitors were reportedly unsuccessful in efforts to lengthen their work hours. [Texas Observer]

12 Comment

  • 25 cents an hour more? Wow, they really hate these people.

  • Nobody hates these people, it’s simply what the market forces dictate to pay for such job.

    A 10% increase in pay to a workforce is a major expense to any business.

    Frankly I’m surprised the non-skilled labor can strike at all. They can all be replaced at a drop of a hat.

  • Welcome to the future. Imagine trying to live on those wages…

  • Living on $10/hr isn’t easy though we’re talking about non skilled labor. It’s not the type of work designed to support a family.
    Everyone wants everyone to get paid a good wadge — unless you’re the one writing the check. Then, rightfully so, you’ll try to get as much labor as you can for your dollar – Just as every shopper in the world tries to get as much product for their dollar.
    Mies: I suspect you price shop right? Trying to find the good deals? The people that can offer the good deals are the ones that have the lowest costs. How do you think the companies that save you money save you that money? By cutting their costs of goods *and labor*.
    Look at it this way: If a company paid their cleaning guys $20/hr, what do you think that would do to their prices? Next, what would that do to their sales?
    Next what would that do to their ability to stay in business?
    Next what would that do for the workers that lost their job when the company went out of business.
    Labor will be paid what the supply and demand for that type of labor dictates. Just like everything else. Sometimes if you have a skill that’s in low demand (or high supply) you’re not going to get a lot for it. The only option is to develop a skill that’s in higher demand (or lower supply). Sometimes it doesn’t provide the results we like, but its the best system there is.

  • They won’t really see an increase in pay after union dues and legal fees are collected

  • I thought this kind of thing is why companies are leaving California and coming to Texas. SIEU is probably seeing this as establishing a foothold in a new market. It’s unfortunate that Houston is becoing the kind of the town where this kind of thing happens.

  • Uh-oh. Cody must’ve taken an Econ 101 course online recently. Thanks for helping us see the light of this this very complex subject, Cody.

  • Okay, so the current janitors displaced the former janitors because the former janitors were probably grumbling about a livable wage for being a janitor. They were displaced by, okay I’m just going to say it, illegals who were willing to work for less money.

    Now the people who were willing to work for a less than livable wage demanded and received a raise.

    Makes me wonder what happened to the first group?

  • J: glad I could help explain. You’re right. That’s just basic Econ 101. Sadly it seems many people don’t grasp basic economic principles. I know you’re saying this with a mix of sarcasm and spite but it doesn’t make it less true.

  • @Cody: Love the arrogance of this – “not the type of work designed to support a family”.

    Gee, first of all, it isn’t the work that is the problem – it is the wages being paid. If you do the math, it is hard for a single person to support themselves on this pay (healthcare, anyone?), and impossible for a family.

    This is why unions are necessary. Yes, it increases the cost of doing business, but so does paying outrageous amounts of money to CEO’s and other top executives. Ultimately, the exploitation of labor amounts to class warfare.

  • Miles, quite on the contrary, the job IS the problem, not the wages. The wages are determined by the skill of the person, so if you don’t like the job, don’t take it, get better skills first.
    What really is class warfare is union mobsters holding businesses hostage to force them to pay for a service more than the market dictates.
    I still fail to see why this is even an issue with unskilled workers… they can all be replaced at the drop of a sombrero.

  • Mies: I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m not trying to be cold hearted.
    It’s not arrogance, it’s fact. If I point out the fact it’s cold outside during the winter, don’t be upset at me that you need a jacket.
    Not every type of job offered to every single person is going to be in high enough demand that it’s going to be paid an amount to support a family. That’s no ones fault.
    Just like not everyone that’s SELF EMPLOYED is guaranteed enough to support their family.
    How can you possibly guarantee that every job that anyone might have can support a family? Government force? Likewise, should we guarantee that everyone that works for THEMSELVES makes $x? If so, I’d like a check for the few years I worked for myself and make $0. And who is picking up this bill? There are not enough evil CEOs to drain to make sure every job has the pay you’d (or I’d) want.