Low wage US workers in Los Angeles, California have held rallies to demand a wage increase on the 25th anniversary of Justice for Janitors Day, when protesting workers fell victim to police brutality in Los Angeles.
The protesters on Thursday said US corporations have been engaging in wage theft against cleaners who are generally undocumented immigrants that are easier to target and exploit.
Workers marched near the Century City district of Los Angeles, which is the site of the original protest in 1990 and the headquarters of several multinational corporations.
“Thousands of workers across the state will rally … and renew their united fight with a focus on curbing wage theft that steals the American Dream for workers in low-wage jobs,” the Service Employees International Union said in a statement.
“In California, janitors are leading the fight against wage theft, a widespread practice by which unscrupulous employers undercut wages by paying workers for fewer hours than they actually work, pay less than the minimum wage, refuse to pay overtime as required by law, or misclassify workers as contractors,” the union said.
A recent report from the University of California revealed that employers steal $26 million from low wage workers in Los Angeles every week.
Justice for Janitors is a social movement organization that was started in 1985 and fights for the rights of janitors across the US and Canada. It began as a response to the low wages and minimal health-care coverage that cleaners and caretakers received.