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

    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.

    Max Nesterak
    Max Nesterak is a reporter for the Reformer focusing on urban policy, economics and labor. Most recently he was associate producer for MPR’s Morning Edition after a stint at National Public Radio. He also co-founded the behavioralscientist.org and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.