Janitor union protests for renewed contracts

Protestors with Service Employees International Union (Local 87) gathered downtown to march for welfare

Around+100+members+of+the+Service+Employees+International+Union+%28SEIU%29+Local+87+protest%0Aoutside+101+California+Street+for+a+contract+action+for+janitors+on+Monday.+The+union+hopes+for%0APPE+for+janitors%2C+healthcare%2C+fair+pay%2C+and+previously+laid+off+workers+to+return+to+work.+%28Jian%0AYang+%2F+Golden+Gate+Xpress%29

Jian Yang

Around 100 members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 87 protest outside 101 California Street for a contract action for janitors on Monday. The union hopes for PPE for janitors, healthcare, fair pay, and previously laid off workers to return to work. (Jian Yang / Golden Gate Xpress)

Hundreds of people rallied with the Service Employees International Union Local 87, on California Street to protest for their union contract.

On Monday, Local 87 teamed up with hundreds of union members in San Francisco to protest related companies for their union contract. After the speeches of Local 87 leaders, they began to march with union members in downtown San Francisco and shouted for a better union contract.

Luk Wing, one of the Local 87 representatives, led dozens of Chinese union members with protest boards through the streets of San Francisco.

“We were here because we have to fight for our contract,” Ming said. “ We need to fight for healthcare, better wages, more safety, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). That’s something that we have to fight for.”

The master contract between SEIU Local 87 – the union representing 3,500 janitors in San Francisco’s downtown office buildings – and the city’s major janitorial contractors expired on July 31.

“Even though it’s pandemic, we still have to fight. Companies use the pandemic as an excuse,” Ming said. “We have almost 4000 union members. If we don’t have any contract, then that means we have no protection. The company can refuse healthcare and better wages to labour.”

Jose Bermudez, a member of the Local 87 union and an employee under ABM Industries, was among the protesting crowd.

“We almost [been] a year that we don’t have a contract. So we fight for a new contract,” Bermuda said. Then Bermudez talked about the contract he cared most about: “All of them, all of them matter.”

Members of the SEIU Local 87 protest along California Street on Wednesday for a contract action in janitorial workers. (Jian Yang / Golden Gate Xpress) (Jian Yang)

Bermudez stated that the union’s requirements for participants at Monday’s event worked to reduce the possibility of contagion.“They keep the distance at like six feet distance, and each participant has to wear a mask,” Bermudez said.

Rocky Mullin is a member of Local 16, but he also supported the Local 87 protest at the scene with a big protest board.

“Whatever that my sibling unions need, we will come out … from Local 16, we will come out and support all the other unions. Because we all we all work together we will all be happier tomorrow,” Mullin said.