From the Houston Chronicle:
Since Oct. 23, janitors have marched in front of office buildings throughout Houston, blocked streets and invaded a Galleria-area office in to bring attention to their cause.The strikers have set up a very good website.
The Service Employees International Union represents about 5,300 janitors who make an average $5.30 an hour and want a boost in pay to $8.50 an hour and health care benefits from the city's five largest cleaning companies.
These photos are from MyDD:
Think that's bad? It gets worse. Houston Justice for Janitors:
We sat down in the intersection and the horses came immediately. It was really violent. They arrested us, and when we got to jail, we were pretty beat up. Not all of us got the medical attention we needed. The worst was a protester named Julia, who is severely diabetic. We kept telling the guards about her condition but they only gave her a piece of candy. During roll call, she started to complain about light-headedness. Finally she just collapsed unconscious on the floor. It was like she just dropped dead. The guard saw it but just kept going through the roll. Susan ran over there and took her pulse while the other inmates were yelling for help, saying we need to call somebody. The medical team strolled over, taking their own sweet time. She was unconscious for like 4 or 5 minutes.And Worse. From Pandagon:
One of the protesters had a fractured wrist from the horses. She had a cast on and when she would fall asleep the guard would kick the cast to wake her up. She was in a lot of pain.
The guards would tell us: ‘This is what you get for protesting.’ One of them said, ‘Who gives a shit about janitors making 5 dollars an hour? Lots of people make that much.’ The other inmates—there were a lot of prostitutes in there—said that they had never seen the jail this bad.
A reader who was down in Houston supporting the strikers emailed me about her experiences. She was arrested on Wednesday and this is her story:Ezra Klein points out that bail was set at $888,888.00 for people who make $5.50 an hour. This in a state where a murderer had bail set at $30,000.00.I was waiting to be frisked on entering the jail, and I was behind some strippers who were part of a vice sting. While they were getting frisked (legs spread, bending over, hands against the wall) there were pairs of male cops standing around watching in the most digusting way you can imagine (and I’m sure you can imagine). Nudging each other, making comments, standing with their legs spread and their arms crossed. When I got frisked, the officer pulled my shirt up high, yanked my breasts out of my bra, and then left the shirt up while she did my bottom half. Humiliating. Horrible. A nice little show for the disgusting pigs who were watching like they were still at the strip club.
Perspective: Kill another human being and you can avoid waiting in jail for your trial for the equivilent of a brand new BMW 328i.
Organize a protest demanding a living wage and health benefits for the people that clean up after your sloppy ass and it takes the equivilent of this to get you out of jail:
A 4,000+ square foot, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, two story Mediterranean style McMansion in Houston. Oh, and it's on a golf course. Wanna bet that the dirt that gets tracked into the clubhouse on $300 golf shoes is cleaned up by janitors making peanuts and working without health care?
Take a minute and do something to help.
Houston Janitors Strike Violence Unions Organized Labor