On May 17, contract negotiations broke down between Houston janitors and the cleaning companies who employ them. Houston janitors clean the offices of some of the richest corporations in the world—JP Morgan Chase, Marathon Oil, KBR, Shell Oil, Continental, Chevron, and Exxon Mobile—but are only paid about $9,000 a year. While janitors tried to bring their hourly wages up to meet the rising cost of living, cleaning contractors made a proposal that would have kept janitors’ annual pay below half the poverty level. In the end, both parties walked away from the table with no future bargaining dates set. Their contract expires May 31st.
The contract Houston janitors won in 2006 after a five-week strike raised wages and created a path out of poverty for thousands of Houston janitors and their families. There is nothing that big business in Houston would like more than break the janitors’ union and take these workers back to minimum wage.
Houston janitors are calling on working people across the city, not just to support them, but to join them. Our city is no longer working for working families. Despite its status as the country’s #1 millionaire city, one in five workers in our city is paid less than $10 hour; Houston isn’t just anti-union—it’s anti-worker.
Together, we can make our voices heard. Sign this petition calling on Houston’s corporate elite to create good jobs for our city, and stay tuned for updates and action alerts from Houston janitors.