Yo Quiero Contract

Campaign to organize janitors kicks off in Irvine

The event brought together various labor and community leaders, most notably Nativo Lopez, executive director of Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, a Santa Ana-based immigrant-aid organization, and Amin David, president of Anaheim-based Los Amigos of Orange County.

Rick Eiden, director of organizing for the United Food & Commercial Workers Union and the new president of Orange County's Central Labor Council, was also on hand to officially welcome the Justice for Janitors campaign to Orange County. Eiden told the janitors that organized labor is experiencing a newfound energy here, as evidenced by the recent signing of so-called "Project Labor Agreements" with the county Board of Supervisors and the Santa Ana Unified School District.

"But that is not enough," Eiden said. "We need the movement that Justice for Janitors brings to this county. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the janitors in your fight."

Eiden's message drew cheers from the crowd and even a heartfelt round of "Si, se puede." But the crowd's favorite speaker was clearly Lopez, who is also a member of the Santa Ana school board. Lopez said he spoke on behalf of fellow board members John Palacio and Nadia Davis when he said, "We are on your side and will be with you to the end."

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