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Sherman Rallies Striking Janitors

Location: El Segundo, CA


Congressman Underscores Community Support for Workers

EL SEGUNDO - Congressman Brad Sherman and other community leaders showed support Friday for more than 700 striking janitors who clean offices at Boeing, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman facilities in Southern California.

Seeking better wages and health care for their families, the janitors threw up pickets on Wednesday.

"Janitors paid a decent wage for jobs that come with health insurance provide a stable and reliable workforce. That's good for the companies, good for the workers and good for our communities," Congressman Sherman said.

"We need to send a clear message that our community supports justice for janitors," he told a rally outside the three defense contractors' plants near Los Angeles International Airport.

The congressman also helped pass out bags of donated groceries to strikers and their families.

Sherman noted that the Pentagon pumps billions of taxpayer dollars into the coffers of the defense and aerospace industry giants. "It's just not right for these huge defense contractors to turn around and make California taxpayers pick up the health care tab when the janitors or their children get sick," he said.

The striking janitors are members of the Service Employees International Union. They have been paid roughly $1,000 a month. Custodians elsewhere in the Los Angeles area make up to $4 an hour more, or some $1,600 a month. The strikers also are bargaining for health insurance for their families like the benefits offered to workers by other cleaning service companies in the Los Angeles area.

The striking janitors are employed by Aramark Corp., Somers Bulding Maintenance Inc., and Servicon Systems Inc. Those companies provide cleaning services for the three major defense and aerospace firms.

"Up and down the state of California, about 25,000 janitors earn decent wages at companies that also provide good health benefits," Congressman Sherman said. "Janitors who clean at huge and profitable companies like Boeing, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman shouldn't have to choose between putting food on the table and taking a sick child to the doctor."

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