Saturday, April 29, 2006

Card what? Georgetown U. answers

Students fighting for janitors at Georgetown University won an important victory this week, when P&R Enterprises, who cleans the university, announced they are forming a union with SEIU. More than 75% of Georgetown janitors signed cards indicating their wish to organize with SEIU Local 82. Janitors together with students, religious leaders and community supporters engaged in a "fast for justice" and other nonviolent actions for more than a year before P&R Enterprises recognized the workers' union. Wages for janitors at Georgetown went from $9.92 to $13 and by July 1, 2007 they should increase to $14.00/per hour. A bit more than the $8.44 offered at UM.

It is worth comparing the role of the university and its president in the struggle to that played by UM and its president. The University sent P&R a letter on April 19, asking them to recognize the union through card check. P&R, who had been fighting card check as hard as UNICCO at UM, finally relented and agreed.

Check out the excellent website maintained by the Georgetown University Living Wage Coalition, and especially this letter from Senator Kennedy to Georgetown's president calling on him to stop blocking a card check recognition.

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