Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 5 recently voted in favor of a three-year collective-bargaining agreement that provides janitors in the Houston area with health benefits and a pay increase. The contract, which the union and representatives of five major commercial cleaning companies negotiated, ends a strike that began in mid-October.
Under the new contract, janitors are receiving an hourly wage of $6.25 as of Jan. 1, 2007 (up from $5.30 per hour). Additional increases of $1.00 and 50 cents will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2008, and Jan. 1, 2009, respectively.
The SEIU views this as a first step in reversing organized labor’s long decline in Texas. Reportedly, the health care industry is next in its sights.