The battle between General Growth Properties and SEIU became a little more heated after the union staged a rally at a GGP property in California.
Shortly before noon, about 20 to 25 chanting janitorial workers and union organizers tried to gain access to the mall's business offices near the food court. A scuffle broke out between the demonstrators and five security guards who were blocking access to the offices.
"It just got out of hand," said Blanca Perez, 72, a former janitor at the food court. "The security guards were pushing people out, manhandling women, pepper-spraying people. It was like a heat-of-the-moment thing."
Hayward police arrived on the scene shortly after the scuffle.
"The demonstrators left peaceably," Lt. ReidLindblom said. "No arrests were made. There were no reports of physical injuries other than irritation to the eyes from the pepper spray. Everyone left under their own power, as we understood it."
For background on the SEIU's campaign to organize workers at malls, check links to previous blog posts and magazine articles below.
- Oct. 1, 2007, Heard on the Floor
- Jan 1, 2007 Simon Property Group, Westfield Trust reach agreement with Serivce Employees International Union
- Dec. 15, 2006, Simon Agrees to Janitor Pay Raises
- July 1, 2006, SEIU Targets Mall Workers In Miami