Some 5,400 office janitors and airport workers are still set to strike across the Twin Cities starting Monday, despite contracts being reached this week with thousands of other SEIU union members who work as office security guards and Target and Best Buy janitors.

Unless a tentative master-contract agreement is reached by Saturday with ABM Industries, Marsden Services, Harvard Services and dozens of other cleaning subcontractors, the office and airport janitors will strike, said Josh Keller, spokesman for SEIU Local 26.

That pronouncement came hours after the union scored several wins. About 500 janitors who clean Target, Best Buy, Cub Foods and other big-box stores in the Twin Cities reached a last-minute and tentative labor agreement this week along with 2,000 security guards. The labor agreements, which boost pay and retirement benefits over four years, landed just days before a Saturday strike deadline.

If the retail janitors vote in favor of the tentative agreements in the next few days, they will see starting-pay levels rise from $14.50 to $17 an hour over the life of the contract. Additional pay increases are slated for specific jobs. Separately, the retail janitors won their first paid holidays for Thanksgiving and Christmas, an improved health care plan that reduces costs, more paid time off and other workplace protections.

The master contract covers big-box retail janitors who work for large and subcontracted cleaning firms such as IFS Services Group, ISS and Carlson Building Maintenance.

"I am happy because we won wage increases and finally won the two holiday days we've been fighting for after such a long struggle," said Cristina Flores-Perez, who cleans Target stores for IFS Services Group.

Meanwhile, 2,000 security guards who also belong to SEIU Local 26 and protect iconic Minnesota buildings and stadiums celebrated several wins Friday. Guards will see 20% to 27% pay increases, employer-paid 401(k) retirement accounts for the first time and a new classification and higher wages for guards who "face increased risks on the job."

While welcome news, the master contracts covering Flores-Perez and other retail janitors cover only a fraction of the janitors across the state. The tentative agreement does not cover the 5,400 Minnesota SEIU members who clean downtown offices and airplanes and provide various services at MSP airport.

SEIU union members will hold a rally Saturday morning in St. Paul. They are expected to be joined by up to 4,600 workers from various unions, who are also preparing to launch strikes of their own starting Tuesday and March 11.

Strikers are expected to include 3,600 St. Paul teachers, 600 health care aides from seven Twin Cities nursing homes and 400 Minneapolis trash, sewer and water workers.

This week's collective-bargaining wins and pending strike deadlines signal the charged labor scene nationwide and in Minnesota in 2023 and 2024, when record numbers of unfair labor complaints were filed with the National Labor Relations Board. Friday and Saturday, 30 workers are striking at the REI Store in Maple Grove, adding to a growing number of labor actions taken against the outdoor retailer nationwide.