Herman Trujillo (above) has been a janitor for 8 years. Now he, along with hundreds of Janitors in Houston charged with cleaning buildings owned by some of the most successful companies around- Exxon, Shell, and JP Morgan Chase- is striking for the right to a living wage.
“When I work in the floors, I always look in the pictures and I’m always imagining ‘Wow, there are so many happy faces!’” he says. The vacation pictures, the baby pictures, he loves looking at them. But there’s one kind of photo that gets to him. “When the kid is graduating from college,” he says. Then he apologizes, because he is crying. “That was one of my parents’ dreams,” he says.
Trujillo composes himself and explains that’s why janitors are striking in Houston. If they got paid even a little more, he says, enough to make ends meet and maybe save a bit at the end of the month, it could help families send their kids to college, just like the children in those pictures on the desks he cleans.