Four local leaders of the Justice for Janitors movement were awarded a $130,000 Ford Foundation grant, the organization announced Friday.
Delores Martinez, Kamilo Rivera, Marisela Salinas and Rafael Ventura, all of whom live in Los Angeles, are leaders of Service Employees International Union Local 1877. They negotiated a 25% wage increase over three years for local janitors.
The four leaders led a successful campaign to unionize fellow building-service workers in Los Angeles County. That effort--supported by other workers, religious institutions and community residents--spurred a nationwide campaign called Justice for Janitors.
More than 9,000 workers have secured such benefits as a living wage, family health coverage and vacation days.