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  JUSTICE FOR JANITORS-- THE MARCH FOR A CONTRACT
 

Those of us in the healthcare field know what happens when people get sick or injured and don't have health insurance-- they go to hospital Emergency Rooms and either they or the taxpayer picks up the very expensive tab for the service. It's expensive and it's inefficient in this year of multi-billion dollar state budget deficits to deny working people health insurance and force them into the public health system.

Janitors in Local 1877 are negotiating a new contract and they'd like health care for their families to be in it. Is this an unusual or unrealistic demand? Other cities in California don't think so-- buildings in San Francisco, the East Bay, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles are cleaned by janitors who have decent pay and affordable family health insurance. If building owners are willing to pay for these benefits in other cities, why not in Sacramento? That is what Local 1877 is asking as they negotiate their contract.

 

 
  Most of the janitors marching at noon on May 15th usually work the night shift-- from 5 p.m. to 2 a. m., or something similar. They are here today, walking past the buildings they clean at night, to let the daytime inhabitants know who it is that keeps the buildings clean and who it is that doesn't have family health insurance.

 

 
  Walking past the Emerald Building (300 Capitol Mall), reflections of the marchers can be seen in the mirrored glass. We could not see the offices or people within or know if they were affected by the sight of their building's nighttime inhabitants demanding living wages and benefits.

 

 
  If you walk through the city with a Local 1877 organizer, they can point to any building and know who the cleaning contractor is. It is a tour different from what a businessperson or architect would give you.
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