June 15 is International Justice for Janitors day. It commemorates a strike in 1990 by mainly immigrant cleaners in Los Angeles during which the janitors were savagely beaten by police.There was a huge public outcry and eventually the janitors won the strike.
This June 15 at 12 noon at the Episcopal Church at UM (the former "strike sanctuary") there will be an announcement of the card count which will officially guarantee recognition of a union for janitorial and groundskeeping staff at UM. There will also be a press conference. This is the official closure of the strike and, we are sure, it will be an emotional event. Since the end of the strike the janitors have worked hard to collect signatures, so come on out to celebrate their victory (again).
After the annoucement the janitors will get on a bus to attend the 3 pm forum at Nova Southeastern University. Nova's president, Ray Ferrero, appears determined to stop Nova's janitors, also employed by UNICCO, from trying to lift themselves out of poverty. At the SEIU sponsored public forum, community leaders will have an opportunity to learn first-hand about the economic injustice the janitors suffer at Nova. Nova janitors will offer personal testimonies. If you can, come and hear them out.
On the way to Nova the buses will stop at the Sunset Mall where UNICCO seems ready to make an agreement, but the mall owners, the Simon Property Group, might need a little encouragement. Concerned faculty and students, along with mall workers, will drop off a letter for the mall owners.