SEIU members joined other working people at a pre-Labor Day rally in Houston to express excitement at the progress made on wages, while recognizing that there is still more work to be done. From janitors to security officers, there have been tangible improvements. For example the minimum wage for Houston First housekeepers, floor technicians and other staff will gradually increase to $12 an hour by 2021, up from $9.35.
“It’s not just about raising the wages,” said Elsa Caballero, president of Service Employees International Union Texas. “That’s the first step, but we also need to make sure that the people who hire Houstonians are responsible contractors that are going to do the right thing by the workers.”
Rita Sanchez, a cleaner with Houston First, spoke outside city hall, saying “I hope that the city of Houston will continue to raise standards and only do business with contractors who will be responsible. All workers who work for the city of Houston and keep this city clean should have the opportunity to have a better job with a contract and security.”