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Sacramento Janitors Win Pay Raise

Contract, which ends a weeklong strike, boosts hourly wage of $6.75 by $1.75 over five years.

June 23, 2003|From Associated Press

Sacramento janitors approved a new contract, ending their weeklong strike for higher pay and improved health benefits.

The janitors' current $6.75 hourly wage will increase almost 25%, by $1.75 an hour, over the five-year life of the contract, said Beth Trimarco of the Service Employees International Union.

They currently earn about $1,000 a month, about 40% less than janitors in other California cities.

Most of the Sacramento janitors also will receive family health benefits by the end of the five-year period, Trimarco said. Under the old contract, which expired May 31, they had only individual health coverage.

The new contract, ratified Saturday by 70% of about 100 members who voted, ends a provision that allowed cleaning companies to contract out some services, Trimarco said. The contract takes effect immediately.

About 350 of the Sacramento area's roughly 1,000 janitors went on strike a week ago.

The Sacramento City Council passed a resolution supporting the janitors' campaign, and several state legislators marched with the janitors.

"It's really an American story" for the janitors, who are predominantly Latino immigrants, said Mike Garcia, president of SEIU's Local 1877. "We won an historic agreement."

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