Workers Respond to Contractors’ Attempt to Undo Decades of Progress
Sacramento, CA – On May 31st, over 150 janitors marched through the heart of our state’s capital against cleaning contractors and their corporate employers who are refusing to offer wages that would lift janitors and their families out of poverty, in addition to severely limiting access to affordable, quality healthcare.
“We janitors have worked hard so that we and our families can have affordable healthcare,” said Adriana Carrasco, a janitor who cleans an office building in Sacramento and is employed by ABM. “But now the cleaning contractors want to take that away. They’re demanding that we pay about a third of our monthly wages to be able to get healthcare for our family.”
For over 20 years, janitors have fought hard to improve wages and benefits so that their families can live a better life. While the janitors have made significant progress, current wages still fall short of what is needed to make ends meet in Sacramento. To raise a family in Sacramento, each parent would have to earn at least $29,234 to make ends meet. With the reductions in hours many janitors have faced, on average, they make less than half of what is needed to make ends meet in the area. An increase in the cost of healthcare would be devastating for janitors and their families, as many are already struggling to make ends meet.
Just weeks after Los Angeles and Bay Area experienced massive janitor-led protests attended by thousands, Sacramento janitors prepare to take their fight for the 99% to the streets of Sacramento. On April 30th, the contract for over 1,300 janitors who clean the offices of the 1% in Sacramento expired. The following day, unions representing thousands of workers throughout the Sacramento region pledged their support to the janitors in the event of a strike.
The janitors work for contractors who clean the offices of real estate landlords and their corporate tenants. Over the last two decades, the janitors who make up United Service Workers West have lifted their wages above poverty and gained healthcare benefits. Throughout the year, these workers will be marching with the 99% Movement to continue to take on the 1%.