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Pixar janitors use animated character WALL-E to protest layoffs

July 31, 2009
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EMERYVILLE, CA — A group of janitors who were laid off from Pixar Animation Studios earlier this year held protests yesterday outside Pixar''s Emeryville, California, headquarters, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Nine of the 21 janitors who cleaned and maintained the campus were laid off in January when Pixar entered into contract with the janitorial firm Preferred Building Services Inc., the story stated.
According to the story, the ousted janitors adopted the robot janitor character from the Disney/Pixar movie "WALL-E" as their poster child.
Sylvia Ruiz, political director for Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West (SEIU-USW West), said: "As soon as they switched, they laid off the workers, took away health care benefits for the remaining ones and left them making $9.25 an hour. It''s pretty ironic that WALL-E was a janitor, and they can profit by a cartoon janitor, but they can treat human janitors like trash."
The SEIU-USW West represents the remaining 12 janitors fortunate enough to keep their jobs, the story noted.
The demonstrations come after months of petitions and letter-writing campaigns by SEIU to Pixar, demanding the company work with the union and rehire the laid-off employees, the story added.
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