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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Janitors march, demand new deal for immigrant workers in San Diego

The 25,000 members of the SEIU United Service Workers West union are entering contract negotiations and want to make a statement.
Credit: KFMB

SAN DIEGO — More than 100 janitors joined with community supporters and City Councilman Chris Ward as they marched Thursday to demand improved working conditions.

The 25,000 members of the SEIU United Service Workers West union are entering contract negotiations and want to make a statement.

According to a statement from the union, janitors in California are largely immigrant women. They cite a 2015 PBS documentary, "Rape on the Night Shift," which showcases bad working conditions in office buildings across California. It features examples of rape, sexual harassment, wage theft and human trafficking, with the worker's immigrant status being used as leverage to avoid reporting the crimes.

Since then, the union said it has worked with lawmakers to clean up the industry, but it is still calling on building owners and property management companies to do their part and sign onto the Immigrant New Deal, which allows workers to unionize, find fair jobs at a good wage, and have a workplace free of sexual harassment and exploitation.