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  After bargaining all night, Local 1877 janitors and the building maintenance companies that employ them reached a contract agreement in the early morning hours of June 21st. . The settlement followed a week-long strike, in which 80 office buildings in and around Sacramento were picketed daily by groups of janitors, joined at key moments by State and local politicians and union activists. One of the big issues was family health care, and that is now in the contract. A historic event!
  To be official, the contract has to be ratified by the members of Local 1877. At 2 pm the union met at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Oak Park to discuss the contract, drawing a crowd of about 300, including family members and union friends.



The 1877 bargaining committee included 12 janitors, seated here at the table on the stage, and Andrew Gross-Gaitan (speaking). Union President Mike Garcia is at left. After working for many weeks to bargain a contract, it was now their job to explain the benefits of the contract to the membership and convince them that the contract should be ratified.

A great deal of education takes place at the bargaining table. Those who participate soon learn how hard it is to gain each degree of improvement in wages, benefits and workplace rules. Those who weren't at the table may wonder why they didn't get everything demanded, but those who were there know how hard they had to fight to win each gain.


  Everyone had a chance to make their views known. This speaker holds a copy of "What we won by striking: A Summary of Sacramento Master Contractor's Final Proposal." The document summarizes what the contract proposals were before the strike and how they improved AFTER the strike. An example would be the improvement in the Kaiser hospitalization benefit: the pre-strike proposal would have cost employees $250, while the post-strike proposal cost employees 0.


  Voting to ratify the contract: Two janitors carried voting boxes through the crowd so that all could cast their vote.
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