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News :: Human Rights : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare
Fast for Justice: Providence Janitors Struggle for Union Power
01 Nov 2005
Monday: Over forty union supporters protested in front of the "Turk's Head" downtown office building as five strong-willed people went into their fifth day of fasting today. The fasters, camped out in front of the fancy bank offices since Thursday, are members of SEIU local 615 and their supporters. They want the owner of the Turk's Head building, millionaire landlord Lloyd Granoff, to hire a union cleaning contractor.
janitors-small.jpg
The union janitors, a majority of whom are black and latin@, make under eight dollars an hour. Their contract allows the wages to be re-negotiated if the union achieves a 65 percent density in Providence.

Maritza Caro, one of the five-day fasters and a member of the Comité de Trabajadores Unidos (United Workers Committee), told Workers World she was fasting to support the janitors, who faced "discrimination, threats and humiliation" for even meeting with union organizers. Jorge Cabrera, a local 615 member and five-day faster, told Workers World "my body is tired, but my spirit is strong." He was fasting to "build a new Providence, with respect for workers rights". Mr. Cabrera said that would include better wages and health benefits for all workers.

It is questionable whether Mr. Granoff, whose janitors need to work two jobs to make ends meet and who makes millions building luxury apartments in a city where homelessness and foreclosures are on the rise, has any conscience at all to be touched by the fasters' appeals. But the fasters' perseverance forced union-busting Providence mayor David Cicilline and a gaggle of elected officials to visit the vigil and pay their respects. Even Providence police chief Dean Esserman, who on Friday had threatened to arrest the fasters for sitting in chairs on the sidewalk, had to come by to shake hands and practice his good manners with them.

The union is asking supporters to call Martins Maintenance, the cleaning contractor at Turks Head, at 401-435-0202, to tell them that the janitors deserve a just wage and a voice on the job, and should not have to put up with threats and intimidation.

Let's all support the janitors and fight to make Providence a 100 percent union town!

Alex Gould is a member of UFCW local 328
See also:
http://www.seiu615.org/
http://www.workers.org/

Copyright by the author. All rights reserved.
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Re: Fast for Justice: Providence Janitors Struggle for Union Power
02 Nov 2005
This article is now available to read at

http://www.workers.org/2005/us/providence-1110/
Re: Fast for Justice: Providence Janitors Struggle for Union Power
04 Nov 2005
"Let's all support the janitors and fight to make Providence a 100 percent union town!"

What if a janitor does not want to join the union? Should he or she be shut out of a job?
Calling out the Commies
04 Nov 2005
Alex Gould, America wants to fight you. Let's see who's right.
Re: Calling out the Commies
04 Nov 2005
America is a lot bigger than the United States!
Re: Fast for Justice: Providence Janitors Struggle for Union Power
11 Nov 2005
"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
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Re: Fast for Justice: Providence Janitors Struggle for Union Power
29 May 2006
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Re: Fast for Justice: Providence Janitors Struggle for Union Power
30 May 2006
online directory main
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