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OC Unions to Stand With Janitors

ORANGE, CA — On Thursday, April 26, 12PM, unions representing 150,000 working men and women throughout Orange County are expected to pledge support to SEIU’s United Service Workers West Orange County area janitors in the event of a strike.

“We are working hard, striving to build a better life for our families, but building owners are working hard to stop our progress. We cannot allow them to win. We are coming together to send them all a message that we will not allow them to hurt our family any further.” Lalo Garcia, a janitor working 11 years for ABM.

For the past six weeks, janitors have been working hard to negotiate a contract with building owners that offers a modest wage increase; provides basic health coverage for families; respects immigrant workers and our many years of service; and protects janitors from workload excesses. Unfortunately, building owners have offered to freeze workers’ wages for 6 years and cut their health benefits. If building owners are unwilling to meet workers’ demands by April 27, janitors throughout OC County will strike.

“With more than 150,000 union members strong, the Orange County Labor Federation stands with janitors. We call on the employers to come to the bargaining table with a contract proposal that supports families,” said Tefere Gebre, Executive Director of the Orange County Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. “In the event that janitors represented by SEIU-USWW decide to strike, our members will honor the picket line by shutting down garbage collection services and package deliveries.”

The janitors work for contractors who clean the offices of real estate landlords and their corporate tenants. Over the last decade, the janitors and security officers who make up USWW have lifted their wages above poverty and gained health care benefits.