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PNS Daily Newscast - July 18, 2018 


Trump now says he misspoke as he stood side-by-side with Putin. Also on the Wednesday rundown: A Senate committee looks at the latest attempt to weaken the Endangered Species Act; and public input is being sought on Great Lakes restoration.

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CT Service Workers: Still Fighting for Janitor Justice 25 Years Later

A striking janitor being clubbed by L.A. Police on June 15, 1990. Connecticut workers are marking the 25th annual Justice for Janitors Day with a march to Hartford City Hall on Wednesday. Courtesy: SEIU.
A striking janitor being clubbed by L.A. Police on June 15, 1990. Connecticut workers are marking the 25th annual Justice for Janitors Day with a march to Hartford City Hall on Wednesday. Courtesy: SEIU.
June 15, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. – Union leaders and service workers in Connecticut are marking the 25th anniversary of Justice for Janitors Day – and they are organizing for contract negotiations this fall.

Juan Hernandez, Connecticut district director for the union 32BJ, notes it was 25 years ago that striking janitors in Los Angeles made world headlines when L.A police officers clubbed them.

He stresses those workers simply were exercising their constitutional rights.

"The fight in Los Angeles, workers were fighting for better pay, better benefits,” he states. “Today, we still have the same fight – we are fighting for wages that bring us out of poverty."

Hernandez and fellow union leaders will commemorate Justice for Janitors Day with a march to the steps of Hartford City Hall on Wednesday afternoon. Joining them will be elected officials, Connecticut Building Service workers and other allies.

Hernandez says the rally is also intended to prepare workers for a likely battle at year's end when contracts are up for renewal in Fairfield County, New Haven and Hartford.

"Those are three master contracts that cover 4,000 members in the state of Connecticut,” he points out. “We'll be fighting for a decent wage increase, full-time work, and maintain and improve our healthcare."

Hernandez says building workers won't be going it alone this week, or in December, because they have plenty of allies, including low-wage restaurant workers.

"Their fight is our fight, and our fight is their fight, because we should be paying $15 an hour, have a union with benefits,” he states. “And that's the fight that we're going to fight together."

The building service worker master contracts are set to expire Dec. 31.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT