CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2012 |
George Perez started at the bottom of Cudahy city government, cleaning toilets as a $6.50-an-hour a janitor. He was ambitious, though, and in eight years was elected to the City Council. Six years later, with no college education or management training, Perez was running the southeast L.A. County town as city manager. He became the embodiment of power in the working-class immigrant city along the 710 Freeway. His up-from-the-bootstraps story made him a hero to some - a kind of "Mr. Cudahy," with a tattoo of the city seal on his right leg to prove it. He served as emcee at town hall meetings, where door prizes such as blenders, fans and heaters were raffled off. When people came to City Hall to complain, Perez sometimes met them personally.
February 17, 2012 |
Outer space is about to get its first janitor satellite. Engineers from the Swiss Space Center at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne announced this week that they soon will begin work on CleanSpace One, a prototype for a line of brand-new satellites whose sole mission will be to remove defunct satellites from orbit. If the prototype is successful, the EPFL hopes to create a family of "de-orbiting" satellites so that humanity can practice in space what the Boy Scouts preach here on Earth - take only pictures (or data readings)
November 26, 2011
The Times' Nov. 23 editorial, "Clueless candidates," which criticized Newt Gingrich for his call to loosen child labor laws and allow kids to work as janitors at their schools, prompted reader Mike Gallagher to write the following defense of the former House speaker's proposal: "I can only assume that the editor did not work as a child, unlike the children of most small-business owners. I've never known a working kid who didn't have time for homework, so long as there wasn't a long transportation requirement.
November 21, 2011 |
Promising “extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America,” Newt Gingrich said Friday that he would fire school janitors and pay students to clean schools instead. Speaking at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the Republican presidential candidate and former speaker of the House challenged laws that prevent children from working certain jobs before their mid-teens. Gingrich blames “the core policies of protecting unionization and bureaucratization" for “crippling” children.
May 18, 2011 |
These days, the battle for economic justice is fought daily in a thousand obscure skirmishes in boardrooms and executive suites across the country. It's a conflict usually waged under the cover of smugly technocratic euphemisms such as outsourcing, right-sizing and resource rationalization. To the extent they're counted at all, the human casualties are reckoned as collateral damage. As early as Tuesday, one of those skirmishes may occur in the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration, where the Board of Supervisors will consider whether to outsource the janitorial work at its Olive View-UCLA and Harbor-UCLA medical centers to Sodexo, a multinational corporation based in France.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2011 |
Rosa Ayala has been arrested seven times, endured three hunger strikes and marched in so many protests, she long ago lost track. As the 67-year-old janitor was interviewed for an oral history project on Saturday, she sat proudly in a chair dressed from head to toe in her union's symbolic red and told her story. "I fight for our union's cause because it comes from deep inside of me," she said, an audio recorder a few inches away. "We will never be satisfied until we have respect and fair wages.