Thursday, February 1, 2007

SEIU Picketing

Today from noon to 7PM, a group of Service Employees International Union members protested outside of our UW Medicine building. Previously, they have left fliers on car windows informing us of the lack of health care for the janitorial staff that works here. Today was a full fledged protest though.

Their set-up included two tents, a griddle for cooking, several bullhorns, a giant puppet and some chants and marches. There were plenty of signs, too. Overall, this was a very dedicated bunch. I thought they were going to camp out overnight, but they packed up just after rush hour.

The story is that Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's company, Vulcan owns our building. They hire a company called Cascadian to provide janitorial service. Cascadian does not provide health benefits to its service staff. The rest of UW is a union shop, so the SEIU comes down to protest periodically.

Some of you may know of my position against the graduate student union at the UW. I would have to lean PRO-union on this issue, however. What do others think about this situation? Is anything else juicy known about it? That meat looks pretty juicy.

Thanks for MBN for the excellent photojournalism!

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