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Andrew Gross-Gaitan, Local 1877 organizer and major participant in bargaining the Local 1877 contract. The contract expired on May 31st, but a two-week extension has been agreed to by both parties. It is now time for the "economic" issues in the contract to be addressed, most notably,health care for workers' families. That is a sticking point with the cleaning contractors. Since these contractors have given this benefit to Local 1877 janitors in other California cities, it is hard to fathom why they deny it in Sacramento. As Sacramento residents, we are offended!


  Blanca Torres came from the Bay Area to support Janitors for Justice here in Sacramento. Janitors in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Franciso, San Diego, and most recently, San Jose, have healthcare for workers' families in their contracts. The contractors are the same; the building owners are the same-- Why not in Sacramento?



"We are with you and will not stop until all janitors have healthcare for their families!" City Councilmember Dave Jones told the Local 1877 crowd. He thanked the janitors for bringing their children to the Sacramento City Council meeting on June 3. "The City Council heard you, and we adopted a resolution urging local businesses to provide healthcare coverage for all janitors and their families!"


  Janitors came from as far away as LA to support Local 1877 in Sacramento. Since my Spanish is limited, I can only report words I recognized in her speech, such as "la mesa" (referring to the bargaining table" and "huelga" (strike). How these words will combine in the future is unknown at the time of this writing.


  Uli Schmidt, SVOC (Sacramento Valley Organizing Coalition) was a speaker on this occasion. The religious and social justice communities were here to support Local 1877.


  Is this a menacing scene? Actually not. At the conclusion of the day's action, the mounted police wished to accustom their horses to the sound of drums, so asked Carlos Urrutia to play for them, which he did. The horses responded with interest but not alarm. You never know what events the day will bring.....


  Website photographer Dick Wood (Local 1000) and website writer Ellen Dillinger (Local 250).
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