The numbers really say it all. In major cities all over the country, the janitors who work for many of the biggest and most profitable offices are paid only $9,000 a year – hardly enough to support an individual or their family.
That’s why janitors in Boston’s Financial District took to the streets on Thursday. More than 100 local janitors marched in solidarity with striking Houston janitors, who were offered a laughable raise of just 50 cents – the first increase in over 5 years to be added onto their $8.35 per hour salary.
With brooms and mops in hand, Boston janitors demanded an end to poverty wages. They stood at the entrance of 75 State Street to protest Brookfield Properties, one of the companies that have prohibited Houston janitors from making a decent wage.
“Our message is very clear: All workers, from Houston to Boston, deserve a dignified salary,” Santa Bernabel, a Boston janitor who participated in the rally, said. “And we’re willing to fight to win it.”
Boston janitors were just one contingent of a 17 city-strong movement to protest poverty wages. With Houston janitors in their fifth week on strike to defend their rights, the big-business CEOS who keep these wages low – like JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon – are taking notice. Janitors in Boston and across the country have it very clear that we won’t back down until justice is served.