Anabella Aguirre, Janitor
Anabella Aguirre is a member of SEIU-USWW, an affiliate of the LA Fed that is very active on campaigns like Raise The Wage, Clean Carwash, and Justice for Janitors. These causes are important not just for workers, but their families, she says. “If I have a good job and benefits, then my family has them, too.”
A janitor for the last 16 years, Anabella knows the unique danger of that industry well. “Janitors work at night,” she explains. “So they need more protection.” Annabella, a victim herself of sexual harassment, is committed to enacting workplace protections. Just recently she took part in three days of demonstrations at the California State Capitol in support of AB 1978. Among other protections, the law would create a hotline for victims and a registry for contractors to increase transparency in the industry. The bill’s author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, says, “we have to make sure that vulnerable workers receive appropriate training and protections from sexual assault, and effective, safe ways to report crimes.” Several women lawmakers dressed in janitorial uniforms and stood in solidarity with hundreds of women outside the Capitol.
While women are especially vulnerable to harassment and assault, Anabella says all janitorial workers need increased workplace protection. “It happens to men, too,” she says.
The Justice for Janitors movement is more than two decades old, and yet it continues to bring new protections to some of our most vulnerable workers. People like Anabella, with her determination and perseverance, are the reason our campaigns are successful.