Janitors rally for greener jobs, safer workplace in new contract

  • Updated: December 5, 2009 - 5:03 PM

The janitors are trying to reduce toxic chemicals in their workplaces and save energy -- while making sure they have full-time jobs in their new contract.

More than 300 janitors in the Twin Cities rallied and marched Saturday in downtown Minneapolis to push a campaign to make their jobs more "green."

The janitors are trying to reduce toxic chemicals in their workplaces and save energy -- while making sure they have full-time jobs in their new contract.

"We know that conservation is key for our children and grandchildren to inherit a livable world," said Javier Morillo-Alicea, president of Local 26 of the Service Employees International Union.

He also told members of the local that recycling and reducing waste "means more and better jobs."

Janitors and community leaders gathered at noon Saturday at Block E in downtown Minneapolis where Mayor R.T. Rybak, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison joined other officials who attended.

SEIU Local 26 represents more than 4,000 janitors who clean buildings in the seven-county metro area. The union is preparing to bargain a new contract. The current contract expires Dec. 31.

BOB VON STERNBERG

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