Houston Janitors members of SEIU Texas overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with cleaning companies.
“We feel good to have finally reached an agreement with the contractors. We secured the things that mattered the most to us. A proof to Houston that when workers come together, they can win,” said Zacarias Tzul.
Tzul and his coworkers were ready to strike if they weren’t able to reach a fair deal that delivered for workers. The two-year deal is half the length of the standard contract and allows Houston Janitors to continue the fight for $15 in their next contract.
After almost two months of negotiations and taking it to the streets, Houston Janitors won important but long overdue protections. These include a landmark provision that will provide important protection for workers against sexual harassment and assault. Under the provisions, employers must maintain a sexual harassment policy, and encourage workers to report incidents of sexual harassment and assault. Employers are required to investigate reports of abuse, and to discipline employees who are found to have engaged in such abuse. It also shields workers who report abuse from retaliation.
Along with these protections, Houston Janitors also won seniority retention, if there is a change in contractor or lay offs, and historic raises, between $1.00 and $2.60 depending on job classification and years of service.
Houston Janitors will continue to organize and get ready to continue to improve their working conditions and will continue to fight for $15.