Janitors in Orange County will mark an important anniversary in labor history by continuing la lucha. Back in the day, on June 15, 1990, a peaceful protest by those who keep offices and properties clean for a living was repressed by la chota in Los Angeles, garnering worldwide sympathy for their demands of affordable health insurance and a dignified wage. The union was recognized from that time forth, and the modern-day labor movement was born.
Twenty-three years later, janitors with SEIU United Service Workers West will be echoing the rally calls of yesteryear today against Ritz Property Management and Olen Properties. Workers, community and religious leaders will gather at noon for a march and rally starting at 1900 Main Street in the city of Irvine.
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The demands are very much the same as they were when 'Day of the Janitor' was born historically. "These past couple of months, we took to the streets against some of the biggest companies for our families," says Ofelia Olvera, a janitor and member of the bargaining committee, in a press statement ahead of the planned action. "We worked very hard and we're proud of what we were able to achieve. But our work in our city isn't over yet."
Ritz Property Management and Olen Properties are leaving their janitors out to dry without a fair contract. In response, the workers and their supporters are taking the struggle to the streets with drums and protest signs aimed at the two companies refusing to provide and increase in wages and health insurance benefits.
There's nothing worse than employing janitors to keep your facilities clean while doing them dirty at the same time! See you there!