About 300 janitors – members of SEIU United Service Workers West – held a protest march today near the intersection of Canoga and Burbank Avenues in Woodland Hills to call attention to contract talks with a number of maintenance companies, including Chatsworth-based Peerless Building Maintenance Co.

Carrying signs that read “Justice for Janitors” and “CEOs Sitting on Cash,” union members marched up and down Canoga and Burbank, waiving at cars that honked in support.

The janitors voted on April 5th to authorize a strike by May 1st if talks with maintenance companies don’t result in a contract by then, said David Huerta, vice president of the union. He said management has proposed freezing wages for six years and putting more restrictions on the ability of workers to get health care coverage. An average Los Angeles area janitor today earns $12.85 an hour, he said.

“It’s not enough to feed a family,” Huerta said.

Peerless management was not available for comment.

The contract affects 2,500 workers in the Los Angeles area.

Judy Temes