From San Diego to Miami, Houston and now San Francisco, the SEIU’s “Janitors for Justice” are once again taking to the streets.Thousands of union janitors snaked their way through downtown San Francisco in a noisy protest Wednesday afternoon, snarling Financial District traffic.
Carrying signs that read, “Standing up for working families,” and “janitors are the 99%,” demonstrators marched down Market Street banging kettle drums and shouting, “If we don’t get no contract, you don’t get no peace,” blocking westbound traffic and periodically stopping to picket at intersections.
“We’re getting screwed,” said Olga Miranda, president of the Local 87. “The trash outside your office? The bathroom? The hallways? No matter how dirty it is, we do it, and we’re not given respect.”
Local 87 is one of 27 locals that are part of SEIU’s janitors union, and “Janitors for Justice.”
225,000 members strong, the rolling strikes are part of SEIU demands that its members not have to contribute one cent more toward already generous health-plan co-payments.
Never mind that public sector employees contribute less to their premiums – about 15% compared to 25% in the private sector – or that public employee plans offer more generous benefits, including lower deductibles and lower co-pays, and require shorter enrollment waiting periods than in the private sector for new employees.
No placards mentioning that since the passage of Obama Care, insurance premiums climbed 9% in one year compared to 3% in the year prior, according to The Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit research firm.
Also no signs alerting the public that labor unions representing 543,812 workers received waivers from the signature legislation since June 17th, 2011.
Who’s getting screwed?
The average janitor’s salary is $22,000 per year. By way of comparison, the average salary for a clinical lab technician is $31,000; a museum conservator makes an average of $30,000 and a biological technician an average of $37,000.
With the exception of janitors, all other fields require a college degree. Oh, and the biological tech conducts cancer research.
Those other fields, however, aren’t required to contribute a portion of their monthly income toward “voluntary” union dues.
While the numbers are murky, SEIU janitors contribute between $1.5 million and $6.2 million monthly in dues.
If SEIU local leaders scaled back their spending at Beverly Hills cigar bars and on luxury golf outings, they might actually be able to do their members some good.
During the 2008 elections, the SEIU contributed over $85 million getting the people elected whose laws they now get waivers from, making them the single biggest contributor to either party.
Time to take out the trash.