Jan. 22:Around 150-200 Twin Cities janitors and security officers rallied with their allies at the Hennepin County Government Center before marching through the skyways to encourage employers to begin bargaining in good faith.
One day before a planned strike deadline, Twin Cities janitors and their employers reached a tentative agreement Saturday afternoon on a three-year contract. But security guards who are part of the same union will go into Sunday with no talks planned and a midnight strike deadline looming.
Javier Morillo, a spokesman for Local 26 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said the 4,000 janitors covered by the local got a “fantastic” deal — raises over three years adding up to $1.20 an hour and improved health care coverage. Janitors who now make $13.42 an hour would get a 50-cent-an-hour raise in the first year and 35-cent-per-hour raises in the second and third years. In addition, Morillo said, an employer proposal to cut many full-time workers back to part-time hours was taken off the table.
The janitors, who will vote late this week on the agreement, are employed by third-party contractors to clean and guard corporate offices throughout the area, including Target, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Medtronic, Best Buy and Ecolab.
Meanwhile, talks with seven security contractors who employ about 2,000 SEIU security guards had not resumed by Saturday evening after breaking down Friday, Morillo said. The guards plan to hold a strike preparation rally at 1 p.m. Sunday at Minneapolis South High School. Although the janitors will not strike now that they have a tentative agreement, they plan to attend that rally to provide “moral support,” he said. If no agreement on the guards’ contract is reached Sunday, that group plans to strike after midnight.
Janitorial contractors included ABM, Able Services, Marsden Building Maintenance, Harvard Maintenance, FBG Service Corp., Capital Maintenance, Triangle Services, Managed Services Inc. and Mid-City Cleaning. There are seven security contractors, including American Security, AlliedBarton, G4S Security and Securitas.