The Potluck

8,000 Twin Cities janitors and security guards schedule strike vote

By: - February 7, 2020 9:42 am

Some 8,000 janitors, security guards, window washers and other workers at office buildings in downtown St. Paul, Minneapolis and at the MSP airport will vote Saturday on authorizing a strike. 

If approved, Service Employees International Union Local 26 could call a strike at any time as they negotiate seven contracts with 17 employers. 

The sticking points across all contracts are more sick time, lower health care costs and higher wages. 

“We know that all of these corporations are making record-high profits. And so there is enough to go around for the companies to do well and for our workers and their families to also do well,” said Iris Altamirano, president of SEIU Local 26. 

Commercial janitors are also pushing for a unique program aimed at helping them reduce carbon emissions, which they’ve failed to get in previous contracts. 

The seven contracts SEIU 26 is currently negotiating are for commercial janitors, retail janitors, security guards, window washers, MSP airport contract workers, street cleaners with Block by Block and US Bank Stadium workers.

Employers could not be immediately reached for comment.

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Max Nesterak
Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.