It seems that over 1,000 custodial artists have gone on strike as of this morning at some of Silicon Valley's most prestigious hi-tech companies, including Cisco Systems and Apple, livid over a new contract. Accordng to the Mercury News:

Garcia said the proposal did not "do enough" to correct a system that makes workers wait 2 1/2 years to become eligible for health care benefits. For new hires, the waiting period for health care would be three years, and there would be no dental package.

Mike Garcia, president of the janitors' union, the 28,000 members make an average of $23,000 per year, earning around $7 less than their San Francisco brethren. And new janitors, it seems, earn a pithy $7-8 an hour in the Bay Area. (Meanwhile, the head custodian at Cisco, Victor Gutierriez, 57, earns just $13 an hour. He has worked for the company for over 12 years. )

Garcia goes on to tell the Mercury News that "there are lots of sad stories of workers losing housing. They reflect the difficult times of the working poor in Silicon Valley."

Other labor unions might, we're told, honor the strike by walking off the job as well.