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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

San Francisco Janitors to Hold a Wonderful Day of Civil Disobedience (aka, Traffic Will Suck)

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Does this look like it can clean itself?
  • Does this look like it can clean itself?

Earlier this week, more than 2,000 disgruntled janitors blocked traffic as they rallied for better healthcare. And what better way to get the attention, albeit negative attention, of busy San Franciscans than to make it that much more difficult for them to get around town?

So today, the same group of janitors are planning yet another rowdy, traffic-clogging march through the Financial District -- and this time they hope to get arrested.

"We clean the buildings of some of the country's biggest and wealthiest corporations: the very ones that are standing in the way of us being able to provide affordable healthcare for our families," says Mohamed Ismael, a janitor who works for Able.  "For the past 18 years, I've worked hard and sacrificed so that I could provide healthcare for my children. Now the companies want to take it all away."

On Monday, janitors negotiated with management well into the night, with the bargaining session ending at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, with little resolved. The sticking point is increasing healthcare costs, which janitors say they cannot afford on their wages. Companies are asking janitors to shell out an extra $300 to $600 per month while paying some janitors as little as $12 an hour.

"The companies are still insisting on healthcare costs that would be devastating for the janitors.," Cecille Isidro, event organizer, told SF Weekly.

Janitors have already authorized a strike, and as Isidro notes, they might take action soon, "given the expiration of the contract and the companies continued insistence on undoing the decades of progress S.F. janitors have worked so hard to achieve."

Meanwhile, unnamed building managers have already prepped for said strike, placing ads on Craigslist for scab janitors.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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