HOUSTON – More than a dozen supporters were taken into custody during a protest against alleged unfair labor practices.
The arrests occurred early Wednesday afternoon in the 1100-block of Louisiana Street where more than a hundred people gathered in support of the janitors’ strike.
Air 11 was over the scene as several people were loaded into the back of a police van.
SEIU Local 1, the organization representing the janitors, said those taken into custody blocked an intersection in an “act of civil disobedience.”
“The struggle for economic justice led by janitors in Houston is deplorable, especially when we have to engage in civil disobedience just to reach the conscience of the corporate executives,” said Johnny N. Mata.
The Houston Police Department said 16 protesters were arrested and charged with 'obstructing a roadway,' which is a class B misdemeanor.
The union is calling for an hourly wage increase from $8.50 to $10.
An SEIU spokesman said there are more than 475 janitors from 36 buildings on strike against multiple national cleaning contractors.