Houston Janitors Call for a City-Wide Strike

Friday's protest
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.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mitchell Slapik
Contact: Mitchell Slapik