Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Danny Glover Takes Up Cause Of Houston Janitors—Harris County Dem. Chair Lane Lewis Takes Up The Fight While Mayor Annise Parker Is Nowhere To Be Seen

Actor Danny Glover was in Houston yesterday to talk about efforts by janitors in Houston to be paid a higher wage, and to talk about larger issues of economic fair play in our society.

(Above–A picture from the event yesterday that was posted on the Facebook page of the Houston Janitors.)

From the Houston Chronicle

“Noted film actor and social activist Danny Glover met with a delegation of Houston janitors at the Third Ward Multi-Service Center on Sunday to talk about fair wages for workers cleaning offices in some of the city’s largest companies. Glover, who’s best known for his roles in the “Lethal Weapon” movies and “The Color Purple,” also called upon Houston civil rights, faith and political leaders to establish a task force to protect the First Amendment rights of Houston’s janitors…Glover’s visit to Houston comes at a critical time for Houston’s janitors, many of whom make just $9,000 annually. For the last month, more than 3,000 janitors, who are members of the Service Employees International Union Local 1, have been working without a contract after they asked for hourly wages to be increased from $8.35 to $10 to be phased in over four years. However, employers have offered a raise of just 50 cents an hour over five years..During Glover’s earlier meeting with three janitors in a private room, he listened intently as Adriana Vasquez, a single mother of three, explained how she cleans up 90 bathrooms in five hours as a janitor at JP Morgan Chase in downtown Houston..”On many levels, we’re talking about an epidemic,” Glover said. “We’re talking about a situation in which men and women have been reduced to objects simply for profit. In their stories, I see some of the most passionate, incredible human beings who are willing to stand up against those obstacles that are placed there and begin to build a life. I’m moved by their courage.”

It would be great to see Houston Mayor Annise Parker and our Houston City Council Democrats taking a lead role in this issue. It is difficult to understand how these folks can work hard to criminalize many acts of sharing food with the poor, but cannot work to assist hard-working people in a fight to make just a few extra dollars.

Mayor Parker and Council Democrats were silent after a Houston Police Department horse knocked down a pro-janitor protester at an otherwise peaceful march last month in Downtown Houston.

The Harris County Democratic Party and Harris County Democratic Chair Lane Lewis have been taking a role in this fight.

Here is a picture I took of Mr. Lewis at the June rally in Downtown Houston—

Maybe Mr. Lewis was on the phone here asking local elected officials and civic leaders to come on down in the fight for everyday working people.

Here is the Facebook page of the Houston janitors.

July 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments