Thursday, November 8, 2007

CALIFAS: Janitors Attacked in Haywood, Ca. Mall

Please repost and check out our blog for more information about protesting the mall and/or sending emails to the mall owners to express your outrage.

The following was sent from EBASE who is organizing a responce and you can find out more information at their website.

Rally for Justice in Response to the Hayward Attacks

On November 1st, janitors and supporters were beaten and pepper-sprayed by mall security at General Growth Properties' Southland Mall in Hayward. Three people were hospitalized following the unprovoked attack while speaking out for workers' civil rights at the mall management office.


What: Rally against these unjustified attacks on workers' civil rights
When: Tuesday, November 13th, 12:00PM
Where: Meet at Washington Mutual Bank (main entrance on W. Winton & Southland Drive)

EBASE will be carpooling to this event. If you'd like to join us, meet at the EBASE office, 1714 Franklin Street, Suite 325, in Oakland, at 11:15AM. We want to make sure to support our sisters and brothers in this struggle - and we're trying to get as many people as possible to show up! If you need help getting to Hayward and want to rideshare with us, please email or call Brooke Anderson,, 510-846-0766.


Three people, including two janitors and a union organizer, were hospitalized after being beaten and pepper-sprayed by Southland Mall security officers during a peaceful midday delegation to the mall's management office to speak out against civil rights abuses against the mall's janitors, who are forming a union in order to gain a voice on the job.

"Everything was going well but when we started chanting 'We Want Justice' the security guards lost control and started attacking us," said janitor Maricela Flores. "Why did they have to react so violently?" Flores, a mother of two, and two other members of the delegation, janitor Sonia Sharwood and union organizer Raul Cardenas, were brought by ambulance to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Hayward after the unprovoked attack. Respectively they suffered from impaired vision and tearing, general pain in the limbs, and difficulty breathing after being beaten and pepper-sprayed at the hands of approximately five mall security officers .

The officers are employed by Valor Security Services, a company that is symptomatic of the low standards that plague the mall security industry, where poor training, low wages, and few if any benefits contribute to high employee turnover and inexperienced officers.

For several months workers at more than 20 General Growth Properties malls nationwide have joined with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to win living wages, affordable health care, and a voice on the job. In many malls, janitors have been met with alleged interrogation, surveillance, discrimination, and even firing of janitors who support their union. According to charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board, there have been 61 alleged violations of janitors' basic civil rights at GGP malls throughout the country, including alleged interrogation, intimidation, and discrimination at Southland Mall itself.

The National Labor Relations Board is currently considering an extraordinary remedy against GGP and its cleaning contractors The Millard Group and Service Management Systems. This so-called 10(j) injunction is a special procedure that allows the NLRB to obtain a federal court order to protect workers' civil rights in serious and egregious situations.

Please help us stand up to injustice. Join us for the rally next Tuesday. It is important to protect our rights to organize and demonstrate peacefully. Let's show them we're not afraid.

Thanks to: