Legislating ‘justice for janitors’

June 7, 2012

By Katy Grimes

SACRAMENTO — California legislators are routinely approached by special interest groups to carry legislation—this is not news. The news is what that legislation is, and who it benefits.

An Assembly Concurrent Resolution was in the Labor Committee Wednesday. Normally, resolutions seem meaningless, or feel-good, but the “Justice for Janitors in California” is no meaningless piece of legislation. This is advocacy and even smacks of campaign fodder.

ACR 155, by Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Pacoima,  is sponsored by the Service Employees International Union — United Service Workers West.

The SEIU explained in the bill:

“In California, SEIU United Services Workers West (SEIU-USWW) represents 18,000 janitors in Sacramento, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. The majority of these workers are recent immigrants. Through past contract fights janitors have lifted wages out of poverty, achieved full employer-paid family health insurance, job security, full-time work opportunities, training programs and worker retention.”

But don’t think they are being altruistic. The bill continues:

“SEIU-USWW has joined with the cleaning contractors and their clients to create programs to work towards improving the industry as a whole. The Building Skills Partnership (BSP) helps immigrant workers obtain language and computers skills through worksite-based classes. The Maintenance Contractors Trust Fund (MCTF) works with the state to help enforce labor laws,” 

Before the Assembly Labor Committee Wednesday, Fuentes, the same legislator who recently pushed through a legislative resolution for National Coupon Month, said that his resolution was “to recognize the importance of janitors’ struggle in California.”

“Janitors deserve decent wages,” Fuentes said. “We need to fight for justice and equality for all working families.”

The committee room was filled with people wearing SEIU-USWW T-shirts, and several witnesses spoke in Spanish in support of Fuentes’s bill, with the help of a translator.

A succession of labor union representatives spoke in support of ACR 155, including the SEIU, California Labor Federation, the Peace and Freedom Party and Bill Camp, a notorious Sacramento AFL-CIO representative.

Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, told of how his grandfather worked in the fields for many years, then later as a janitor, a story he often repeats in committee hearings.

But as Alejo told about the injustices of working as a janitor, he never acknowledged that it was his grandfather, an immigrant, who made it possible for Alejo to grow up in California, attend California public schools and graduate college and law school. He never did explain what the injustice is by working as a janitor.

Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, spoke in Spanish to the union workers without the translator, and then complimented Camp. “You are a labor warrior for us all,” Yamada told Camp. “I saw you on the front page of the Sacramento Bee with zip ties on your hands,” Yamada added, smiling.

“For over two decades, SEIU’s Justice for Janitors movement has helped poverty-wage workers achieve a better life. Using market-wide master contracts, SEIU has organized 225,000 janitors in more than 30 cities throughout North America.”

Within the bill, the SEIU described the history of “Justice for Janitors Day”:

“The original Justice for Janitors Day was established after janitors in Los Angeles organizing for dignified wages and affordable health care were beaten by police during a peaceful demonstration on June 15, 1990. The incident generated intense public outrage and resulted in the cleaning contractor recognizing the L.A. janitors in a union. In remembrance of that monumental day, SEIU janitors and supporters take action every June 15 in cities nationwide.”

Watch for additional legislation, or contract disputes about beefing up pay, benefits or pensions for SEIU janitors.

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  1. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 7 June, 2012, 09:58

    This is just more ‘free cheese’ for the illegal invaders and their offspring. I’m surprised they haven’t had a ‘Weed Puller or Janitor Bill of Rights’ yet in Sactown. heh. All homeowners must now provide free breakfast or lunch to the neighborhood yard cutting clowns. heh. What you are witnessing is the destruction of an empire. You will be able to tell your grandkids “Yeah, I remember right before the collapse when they were rewarding the leeches and punishing the producers.” It will be like my grandfather who used to tell me horror and monster stories while I sat on his knee as a toddler. heh. And as you tell your kids the leech stories they will say “Really grandpa??? Did that really happen??” HAH!!! 😀

    Reply this comment
  2. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 7 June, 2012, 10:00

    Hmmm? Maybe the unions are trying to get all those “categorical” funds restored for K-12 school districts that funded bus drivers, extra janitors, aides, and other make work jobs in protected job “categories”?

    Reply this comment
  3. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 7 June, 2012, 10:07

    So nice to see that the same legislators who have given us a 16 billion dollar deficit and depression era unemployment levels have so much time to waste bowing and scraping before their labor cartel masters. These demogoguecrat buffoons would be great comic relief if they didn’t have so much power over us.

    The blue team politicians are like arsonists who not only start a fire with malicious intent but then return to the scene of their crime to enjoy the spectacle they have created. These are truly sick, demented and degenerate people running our parliament of whores. They worship at the altar of Karl Marx and then blame the economic mess they have created on “Capitalism”, about which they know nothing except that they hate it.

    Race hustling, poverty pimping ethnic grievance mongers like Felipe Fuentes and Luis Allejo exploit the desperate ignorance and primitive tribalism of ethnic voters to gain power and do the bidding of the real rulers of Kalifornia ie. Labor Cartels, illegal immigrant activists, environmental elitists, ambulance chasing trial lawyers and the rest of the liberty and prosperity destroying menagerie of left wing lunatics.

    From the above photo it seems that the color of totalitarian socialism has changed from red to purple. Isn’t purple the result of mixing blue and red? So when you mix team blue with the blood soaked red of Marxism you get SEIU purple. How appropriate.

    Reply this comment
  4. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 7 June, 2012, 12:03

    “The blue team politicians are like arsonists who not only start a fire with malicious intent but then return to the scene of their crime to enjoy the spectacle they have created”

    Beautiful, beautiful analogy. I commend you for your deep thought.

    I would call them prostitutes – but that would be giving productive, working whores a bad name, Dys. I have more respect for streetwalkers than that.

    Reply this comment
  5. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 7 June, 2012, 12:07

    Just a matter of time before they have a memorial for janitorial workers on the State Capital Grounds.

    They are building one for migrant farm workers at the Orange County fairgrounds. If I’m lying I’m flying.

    And when we pass it we will be reminded to genuflect.

    Soon janitors will be making as much as cops and fireclowns.

    This is what happens when an empire declines and collapses. You are seeing it before your very eyes.

    Reply this comment
  6. Tom
    Tom 8 June, 2012, 21:20

    All janitors should work for the California State government. The first paragraph from a New York Times article:

    “The janitors who buff floors and empty wastebaskets for the State of California earn a median wage of a little over $31,000 a year, which is 45 percent more than janitors in the private sector earn there. Georgia’s janitors, by contrast, earn less than $21,000, about 6 percent below their private sector counterparts.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/us/26salaries.html?pagewanted=all

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  7. Bob Smith
    Bob Smith 8 June, 2012, 22:13

    The Times loves to lie by omission. I bet once health, vacation, and retirement benefits are considered, Georgia’s janitors make a heck of a lot *more* than their private-sector counterparts. California’s janitors probably make close to double what the private sector pays once those things are counted in.

    Reply this comment
  8. Ted Steele, Prosecutor
    Ted Steele, Prosecutor 9 June, 2012, 07:05

    I think our janitors must make $1,000,000,000,000 a day. I am pretty sure. And they have trillion dollar pensions and probably state purchased housing in France. Jeez, we ought to call them “freedom fries” ™ again. I knew the rotten French were somehow behind this. And why can’t we se Pres. Obama’s birth cert?????

    I love Orly Taitz.

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 9 June, 2012, 09:16

    I think our janitors must make $1,000,000,000,000 a day. I am pretty sure. And they have trillion dollar pensions and probably state purchased housing in France. Jeez, we ought to call them “freedom fries” ™ again. I knew the rotten French were somehow behind this. And why can’t we se Pres. Obama’s birth cert?????

    Teddy is posting abusive comments again- HIGHLY abusive 🙂 Please send him money for a psyc eval 😉

    Reply this comment
  10. Ted Steele, Prosecutor
    Ted Steele, Prosecutor 9 June, 2012, 13:29

    The poor poodle…..mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm lol

    Reply this comment

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