Berlin Update: On Wednesday November 8th almost 50 of us participated in a strong action against 3 Hines related properties. We made an action tour and picketed a bank, a hotel and the Hines headquarters. We were activists from different collectives, unionists from Verdi (German Trade Union) and also representatives from the London and Australian justice for janitors campaigns. The Berlin police was a pain in the ass but we were able to make ourselves heard.
Last 2 weeks in the U.S.: Janitor solidarity strikes continued in major cities in the U.S. 14 janitors leaders were terminated. More legal charges were brought against the cleaning companies for labour and civil rights violations. There were picket line confrontations between strikers and managers. 2 major civil disobediences took place to raise awareness in the press. One blocking a major Houston downtown intersection for 4 hours (during rush hour) there were many arrested, and the "occupation" of the head offices of one of the largest national owners in the U.S. - Transwestern. The civil disobedience was lead by a priest and several visiting janitors from other cities, with community members and students. 7 people were arrested. Candle light vigils and a food drive began in the city to help the strikers with the help of community, university and church organizations.
International support: Besides our Berlin action, union and social justice activists held actions against Hines and Chevron in Mexico City, Moscow, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, and Panama City.
This week: In the U.S. there will be a national day of action against Chevron on Wednesday and we will continue doing civil disobedience. At least 50 SEIU janitors and union leaders from around the country will travel to Houston this week to call on national commercial landlords to put an end to the poverty conditions and poor treatment of the cityâ€™s workers. These â€œFreedom Flyersâ€ are continuing a time-honoured tradition of non-violent protest against injustice inspired by the Freedom Riders of 1961 who rode throughout the southern United States protesting segregation.
In Milan, the Chainworkers will hold a leafleting action against Hines this week and will organize an event in the future to connect the Houston strike to organized cleaners in Milan and the broader movement.
In Hamburg, we will do a delegation to the Texaco office on Wednesday as a part of the Janitors Chevron Day of Action. We will post the details here very soon.
NEXT WEEK IN BERLIN!
We are calling for another larger action FRIDAY November 24 at 4:30 pm at Hines Headquarter (155-156 Friederichstrasse). Our plan is to do a projection on to the building of the strike images, workers testimonies and get the media out.
After 4 weeks of striking, the companies will try to break the union with a powerful weapon: time, so we need to put more pressure at a local, national and international level!