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Janitors Set To Vote On Contract

After being on strike for exactly one month, Houston janitors will vote on a new contract tomorrow and could be back to work by Monday. Some of them were back on the street today, protesting against one contractor that still hasn't agreed to the new deal.



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That’s how it sounded around noon in downtown Houston outside the Amegy Bank building on Fannin Street.

The janitors are employed by large contractors — most of which have agreed to give the workers a small pay raise. But one contractor Pritchard Cleaning services is still holding out.

This is union representative Paloma Martinez:

“There is a tentative agreement in place with all the major contractors, except for one. And that should be wrapped up in the next couple of days, so those workers will continue to be on strike for now.”

The janitors had been making $8.35 an hour. They were hoping to get $10, but in the end settled on $9.35.

“They’re actually going to get a 12 percent raise and that’s due to the persistence, their perseverance their unity and strength. These gains — while they’re a drop in the bucket for corporations like JP Morgan Chase, or Exxon or Chevron — for janitors, it literally could change lives.”

The plan is to pass the new contract Saturday and get back to work starting Monday.