Union janitors in Houston's private-sector asking for hourly pay increase

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A hundreds of union janitors across Houston met together to discuss raising their pay on Saturday afternoon.

The room was filled with signs in Spanish and English that read "$15 now." That's the demand. Janitors say with a rise in prices in so many things across our area and nation, they believe their wages should increase too.


Janitors in the Service Employees International Union are hoping to win a new contract to secure higher wages. They made $15 a bargaining priority. The current private-sector contract covers 2,800 janitors, but that's set to expire on May 31.

According to SEIU, Houston's union janitors, on an average, currently make $10.75 an hour.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is raising minimum wage for city contracted janitors to $15 an hour, according to SEIU.

SEIU says Turner is calling on private sector employers to raise wages as well.

Efren Montes a janitor in the union. He was there on Saturday afternoon as the group rallied together to make the ask in an attempt to make it a reality.


Monte says he is the main provider in his household of seven.

"We need that raise because our families need that money and I think it's a good thing to bring everybody together here to see if we can get that so it's very important to our families," said Montes.

As contracts are being negotiated with private-sector employers, Montes hopes it becomes a reality. He says the added pay would go a long way.

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