Museum Workers, Janitors Are Ready to Strike (Update)

Categories: Labor
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Janitors want a clean contract
Update (4 p.m.):Janitors are planning to negotiate with management through the night, and hope they can reach a satisfying deal by the morning. If not, then Ahsha Safai, political organizer for the janitor's union, says a strike could come next. "The members have already authorized a strike, it's just a matter of when i will be implemented," he told SF Weekly. He says building managers are attempting to increase health care costs by as much as $600 a month -- which isn't sustainable for janitors, some who make $12 an hour.

Original story (2:29 p.m.) San Francisco janitors are planning a march through the city today in preparation for a potential strike. Meanwhile, museum docents are also threatening to walk off the job -- all of which must make San Francisco's French tourists feel very much at home.

Earlier today, workers at the de Young and Legion of Honor museums voted overwhelmingly to go on strike if need be, which means your planned day off to see art might not be that pleasurable -- if the museums even stay open. Workers are lamenting the fact that even with a $19.6 million increase in assets over the last two years, the museums are trying to increase healthcare costs -- even more for workers than management. At the same time, the museums want to "drastically reduce wages" for future workers, up to 77 percent.

"We do not want to go on strike, but we will be forced to if management refuses to work with us," said Larry Bradshaw, vice president of SEIU Local 1021. "For a nonprofit organization that is community-oriented and culturally high-minded, management's actions are appalling."

Meanwhile,  disgruntled San Francisco janitors are gearing up for a strike of their own.

According to news reports, more than 2,000 union janitors are planning to gather in downtown at 2:30 p.m. and march "ahead of a possible strike." As SF Weekly reported last week, managers made their preparations for a possible strike very clear, when some unidentified managers posted ads for scab janitors on Craigslist.

We put in a call to the organizers of these marches, but no word back yet.

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