email from SEIU
More than 5,300 Houston janitors have reached a solid tentative agreement with their employers that will put workers and their families on the road to a better future and pave the way for workers throughout the country to unite to improve their lives. Details of the agreement are forthcoming, however the janitors' contract will lift workers and their families out of deep poverty and ensure access to quality, affordable health care.
The agreement was reached following an intense four-week long strike waged by nearly two thousand janitors that received tremendous local, national, and international support from SEIU janitors, union members across multiple industries and divisions, some of the nation's top elected and civil rights' leaders, and faith, labor, and community leaders in Houston and around the country.
As Houston janitors look ahead to the next phase of their campaign to build a better future for working people in Houston and throughout the South, here's a first look at some of the incredibly positive media coverage received. The Associated Press article filed Saturday was picked up all over Texas in print and TV as well as several cities around the country: http://www.dallasnew...
In addition, here's a link to TV and radio clips from the past week-end: http://media.vmsnews...
The janitors' tentative agreement comes on the heels of a historic week of civil disobedience in Houston. Nearly 80 people have demonstrated their courage and commitment to janitors' fight by risking arrest since the strike began-60 people in the last week alone. The non-violent protests reached a critical point when nearly 50 Houston janitors and supporters from other cities engaged in civil disobedience by blocking the intersection of Travis and Capitol last Thursday and were charged by mounted policemen. At least five protesters were seriously injured in the event-including an 83-year old New York janitor and 52-year SEIU 32BJ member named Hazel Ingram and other supporters whom suffered fractured arms and wrists from being stepped on by horses. Photos and video of the incident are at www.houstonjanitors.org.
Anna Denise Solís, a Texas-raised SEIU staff member currently living in San Jose, CA, was one of the peaceful protestors arrested Thursday night. She reported severe mistreatment by Houston Police of the peaceful protestors in jail:
a.. Guards ignoring a severe diabetic woman who had collapsed, continuing with a roll call
b.. Guards kicking the cast of a woman with a fractured arm
c.. Guards calling female protestors, "whores"
Anna's statement is attached and available at www.houstonjanitors.org.
In an attempt to limit the right to peaceful protest and freedom of speech by the workers, an overly zealous Harris County District Attorney requested Friday night the extraordinarily high bond of $888,888 cash for 44 of the 46 peaceful protestors arrested Thursday. The standard bond rate for a Class B misdemeanor is $500 to $1000. The bond rates were later reduced by a magistrate judge to $1,000 per person.