Friday, March 17, 2006

Janitors at NBC Studios Win Right to Join Union!

Janitors at NBC Studios Win Right to Join Union!
Agreement Major Victory in Campaign to Win Justice for Janitors in Entertainment Industry

A huge victory for janitors at NBC! The janitors who clean the NBC, CBS and KTLA studios have won an agreement that will allow them to choose to join thousands of other janitors across California as part of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1877.

Nearly a year ago, janitors from across Southern California launched a studio campaign to win improved standards for janitors in the entertainment industry as part of the Justice for Janitors campaign of SEIU Local 1877.

Facilities Support Services, the janitorial contractor that cleans NBC Studios, CBS Studios, KTLA and a number of smaller sites in the Los Angeles area, signed a card check neutrality agreement last week that allows its janitors to join Local 1877. The union currently represents more than 20,000 janitors statewide.

“For a long time, janitors in the entertainment industry had been ignored, forced to clean up after the rich and famous while living in poverty themselves,” said Mike Garcia, president of SEIU Local 1877. “Now, janitors in this industry are mobilizing and realizing that together they can win justice.”

In June of last year, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously (14-0) to call on Southern California’s entertainment industry to work to improve conditions for the janitors who clean their facilities.

“What janitors want is what anyone wants, decent wages and health insurance for ourselves and our families,” said Dora Posada, a janitor involved in the studios campaign. “It thrills me to see that change for the better is possible even when confronting the most powerful people in Hollywood.”

If a majority of janitors choose to join Local 1877, FSS will recognize Local 1877 as the janitors union and will begin negotiations on wages and benefits. Many janitors at NBC, CBS and KTLA have, until now, earned at or close to the minimum wage and received no health insurance. By contrast, most union janitors who clean similar facilities in Southern California earn more than $10/hour and receive full family medical benefits.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Janitors at Warner Brothers and Universal Studios Win Fair Contract. Janitors at NBC Studios and Universal City Walk Left Behind

Janitors at Universal Studios and Warner Brothers studios are celebrating a victory this week after ratifying contracts which set a new standard for janitors in the entertainment industry. Unfortunately, despite these victories, janitors at NBC Studios and Universal City Walk continue to earn poverty wages and receive no health insurance.

“We are proud to have fought and won real improvements for janitors in the entertainment industry,” said Felix Cisneros, a janitor at Warner Brothers who has worked in the industry for more than 27 years. “We have now set the standard and it is time for all the companies in the entertainment industry to make sure that janitors are treated with respect and dignity.”

Leoncio Miranda, a janitor at Universal Studios who is part of the negotiating committee at Universal Studios says that although the new contract represents a tremendous victory for the workers, for him and his family, “we recognize that in order to maintain the benefits that the company was attempting to take away, janitors at all NBC/Universal facilities must be organized.”
Miranda says union janitors will join their counterparts at NBC Studios in Burbank and at Universal City walk, as well as others in the industry to continue their fight for justice for janitors in the entertainment industry.

Tomorrow, janitors and allies will distribute informational leaflets outside of NBC Studios highlight the janitors' plight.

Tune into Picking Up After the Peacock for Updates in the Coming Days.

Friday, March 10, 2006

How Can Janitors at NBC and Universal City Walk Afford to Raise a Family?


The answer? They can't! 

Today, we wanted to provide a link to an excellent study created by theCalifornia Budget Project, called Making Ends Meet: How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Family in California?

Among the findings:
  • To make ends meet in Los Angeles, a single adult had to make at least $11.86/hour
  • For a single parent, once you factor in child care, additional housing costs and health care costs, the necessary wage shoots up to $25.97 per hour.
  • In a family where both parents are working full time jobs, they found that each parent would have to make at least $15.16/hour.

Looks like Facilities Support Services and Federal Building Services, the contractors used by at NBC Studios and Universal City Walk, as well as NBC Universal themselves, must not have received the report. At $6.75 or $7.00/hour for many of their janitors, we shouldn't be surprised to learn that many of the janitors at these facilities struggle every day just to keep a roof over their heads and their children fed.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

The Word is Spreading!

The janitors' inspiring campaign is being noticed. Two of LA's best and most widely-read blogs, Defamer and LA Observed posted links to Picking Up After the Peacock today. The consensus from all the feedback we've received seems to be that a company like NBC Universal should be able to make sure that their janitorial contractors aren't paying poverty wages and no benefits. Makes sense!

From Defamer.....
Protesting janitors from NBC Studios and Universal CityWalk have started the Picking Up After the Peacock blog to bring attention to their labor dispute with the media conglomerate. They'veposted some photos (like the one above) of yesterday's picketing of CityWalk (motto: The Fourth Or Fifth Happiest Place In The Greater Los Angeles Area), a march that was no doubt jarring for the neon-dazed tourists who had to decide whether to believe the janitors protesting low wages and poor benefits or the nearby NBC Uni officials assuring them that this was a simulated demonstration to supplement their "Local Labor Strife Food Court," and that their hosing down of the sign-wielding throng was merely routine maintenance of the living exhibit.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Pictures from Today's March at Universal City Walk




Here are some pictures from today's historic march by hundreds of janitors at Universal City Walk. Many janitors brought their children. These are the children they are fighting to be able to take to the doctor when they are sick.

Historic Day for Janitors at NBC Universal!

More than 300 janitors and supporters from throughout Los Angeles marched today at Universal City Walk in support of decent wages and health care for the janitors who clean Universal City Walk and NBC Studios. 

Tourists, people eating their lunch at Universal City walk and other workers from the facility expressed their support for the janitors' efforts. 

Alberto Arteaga, a janitor a Universal Studios said, "My colleagues and I work hard every day to clean these multilillion dollar facilities. No janitor should have to choose bewteen putting food on the table and taking a sick child to the doctor."

We had some great photos and we will be posting those shortly.

Monday, March 6, 2006

Introducing "Picking Up After the Peacock"

Welcome to "Picking Up After the Peacock," a blog dedicated to the janitors who clean NBC Studios and Universal City Walk to win decent wages and health insurance for themselves and their families.

In the coming weeks, this blog will feature:
  • Guest blogging from a janitor at NBC Studios. Hear more about his life, the impossible choices he has to make and how full time work at NBC Studios still leaves him in poverty. 
  • Information about how the wages and benefits for janitors NBC Studios and Universal City Walk are significantly lower than for janitors at places like Dreamworks, Paramount and CBS Studios. 
  • Real Life Fear Factor - Hear about the real life challenges that janitors at NBC Studios have to face and their fears about their ability to provide their children with a decent life. 
  • Music Store: I have a musical instrument shop. I will introduce some of the basic instruments for beginners. Guitar, Piano, and many more.
And much more. Stay tuned!

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