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As businesses close, fewer janitors are needed

September 02, 2009
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SAN FRANCISCO — As more businesses go under and more office buildings scale back cleaning and maintenance, the number of janitors flocking to the hiring hall run by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 87 increases, according to Mission Local.
Seniority counts for the $12.84 to $17.85-an-hour jobs handed out at the hiring halls, so many of the 3,500 janitors represented by the union are forced to wait for their turn, the story stated.
According to the story, non-union members are welcome at the hall, but they have the least seniority and are only dispatched after all union members get work.
Because the janitors need employment to pay bills and provide for their families, many have taken part-time odd jobs or simply opted for early retirement, the story noted.
Roberto Bobadillo, a veteran janitor who hasn’t worked in a week, said: "I’m nervous. Work is a natural tranquilizer, and the pay, even more so."
The SEIU Local 87 provides health insurance to workers who clock at least 90 hours a month, but in these times, and with an ever-increasing number of displaced janitors, that is a difficult task, the story added.
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