Sporadic protests over the past couple months in Houston have escalated into calls for a city-wide strike, as janitors claim their managers illegally threatened and harassed them for participating in protests.
Since May, janitors have been protesting to demand a higher wage from the corporations they clean. They went into contract negotiations wanting their pay raised from $8.35 to $10 an hour, on par with what their counterparts make in a lot of cities across the United States. But contractors only offered a 50-cent pay raise over the next four years.
Then, when janitors started taking to the streets to demand a better deal, several of them say their managers used "unfair labor practices" to try and scare them into keeping quiet. A woman at Friday's protest said she was told she'd get fired if she participated. Others were allegedly harassed or threatened.
Now janitors have scheduled another protest for 6:15 p.m. today in front of office buildings beginning at 1100 Louisiana Street, according to spokeswoman Paloma Martinez.
We put in a call to Pritcherd Industries, one of the contractors in question, and will update this story when we hear back.