WASHINGTON, DC - Tomorrow, as JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testifies in front of the House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Committee regarding his company's recent massive banking loss, Adriana Vasquez, a janitor who cleans the JP Morgan Chase tower in Houston, Texas will attend the committee hearing with the hope of asking Dimon a simple question: How could a company that made more than $19 billion in profits last year not ensure that the janitors cleaning their buildings earn a decent wage?
Janitors in Houston make just $9,000 annually and have been offered only a $.50 raise over the next five years. JP Morgan Chase is a major player in the real estate industry nationwide, including in Houston where more than 3,000 janitors have voted to authorize their bargaining committee to strike.
The contrast of Jamie Dimon - one the richest men in the United States and the 12th highest paid CEO in the country - and the janitors who clean his building - many make as little as $9,000 a year-- poignantly illustrates both what's wrong with the economy and the growing gap between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of us. A Houston janitor would have to work more than 2,500 years in order to earn JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon earned last year.
Houston has been named the nation's "#1Millionaire City" for annual growth in millionaires. Last year, the city's 15 largest employers reaped more than $178 billion in profits in 2011 - a more than 50% increase over the previous year. Despite this, Texas is tied with Mississippi for the highest proportion of minimum wage jobs in the nation. In the wake of huge profit margins, working Houstonians' wages have remained stagnant or fallen behind - in fact, one in five people working in Houston, cooks, cashiers, janitors, baggage porters, and security guards, make less than$10 per hour.
DETAILS ON CONGRESSIONAL HEARING
WHO: Adriana Vasquez, Houston Janitor; House Committee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit; Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase CEO
WHAT: House hearing entitled, "Examining Bank Supervision and Risk Management in Ligh of JP Morgan Chase's Trading Loss
WHEN: June 19, 2012 at 9.30 AM
WHERE: 2128 Rayburn House Office Building