SANTA CLARA (KCBS) – Hundreds of Silicon Valley janitors took to the streets of Santa Clara on Thursday, upset about huge cutbacks being proposed for their health care plan.

About 800 janitors gathered in the parking lot of Our Lady of Peace Shrine and Church before marching along Mission College Boulevard in Santa Clara.

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

The janitors, who are represented by SEIU United Service Workers West, work for contractors and clean some of the office buildings of high-profile firms in Silicon Valley.

With a contract that is set to expire on April 30, the union said the proposed new deal includes huge cuts to janitor’s health care plans, including a $3,000 annual deductible.

“I don’t know anybody who can afford a $3,000 deductible,” said SEIU Local 1877 spokesperson Cecille Isidro. “Even if they’re not a janitor, I think a lot of middle class families really can’t afford a $3,000 deductible.”

Isidro said that most janitors only make between $10-13 an hour.

The group is threatening to strike come May 1 unless there are changes to the proposed health care cutbacks.

Some 30,000 of the 40,000 members of United Services Workers West will have their collective bargaining contracts expire by the end of this year.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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