March 3, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Minneapolis, IN – Janitors with Services Employees International Union Local 26 went on a one-day strike Feb. 17, picketing office buildings in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and several suburbs. The union, which represents more than 4,000 people working for cleaning contractors, is trying to win a $15-an-hour minimum wage for all workers, nine sick days a year, a lighter workload, and family health benefits.
The previous three-year contract, under which they had three sick days and part-time workers got $11-13 an hour, expired Dec. 31. The strike affected almost 200 buildings, including the headquarters of 3M Corporation and United Health Group and terminals at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. “Janitors across the metro proved yesterday their commitment to winning a fair contract that supports working families and begins to roll back the awful racial and economic disparities in our state,” Local 26 President Javier Morillo said in a statement. “Janitors are ready to take the next step if employers aren’t serious about bargaining.” Read more