Janitor Union Focuses on Health Care

The Service Employees International Union has successfully organized janitors with the five top employers in Houston. Negotiations are expected to start soon. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker reports a meeting today focused on the health care benefits.

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The average janitor job pays $5.30 for four hours a night. Justice for Janitors Houston Director Autumn Weintraub says as a result janitors often work two or three jobs to make ends meet.

"What this campaign is about is janitors winning access to health care, janitors winning ... minimum wage jobs."

Religious leaders and The Metropolitan Organization met to discuss ways to increase access to healthcare. More than five thousand janitors are being represented by the union. Those gathered today point out they are part of the more than one-million people in Houston who are uninsured. They point out that since 1990, eigth in ten new jobs have been low-wage, service sector jobs, which typically do not provide health insurance. That in turn puts a burden on the public health care system. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.

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