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The story that is the most compelling to me in this book is the history of the janitors union. It was fascinating for me to learn about the unions that exist today and how they were established. What was even more illuminating was that the janitorial services were eventually over turned by the Latinos that immigrated to the U.S. The fact that 70 percent of janitors were employed by the owners of the buildings in 1956 was no surprise to me, as it seems more cost-effective to hire the janitors directly versus hiring them through a third-party like an independent cleaning company, but finding out that by the 1980’s most janitors did work for independent companies that were hired by the building owners as a means to override the unions by producing contracts that could be terminated with just 30 days notice to keep the companies from paying the higher wages the workers usually won was a bit diabolical. Also to learn that by 1985, the janitor’s union had so many fewer members that lower wages were distributed causing more African-Americans and whites who had been janitors to find other work, thus resulting in the vast majority of janitors by the late 1980s to be Latino immigrants from central America was interesting, especially when I thought that many of the janitors we had in the U.S during that time were under privileged white persons or poverty-stricken African-Americans. I think that in a book that boasts stories of conservation, conglomerate dominance, and government deception, a story as simple as a janitor’s union has a great impact on the depth of what this book is about. The book’s overall depiction of how the media effects several different aspects of our society and cultural advancement as a whole was most intriguing to me. I would like to ask Esha what impact he thinks that media coverage has on our countries economic advancements in terms of unions and fair rights?

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  1. Kathleen
    November 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Good post, Paris. I wish it were a little longer as I would have like to have seen some of your point expanded, especially regarding medias effect on our economic state. Nice insights though, thanks!

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