The union of University of Minnesota service workers who authorized a strike said Thursday that four-day walkouts would begin next week if ongoing negotiations are unsuccessful.

The Teamsters Local 320, whose 1,500 members include janitors and food service workers across the U's campuses, said a strike would begin Oct. 26 at the Twin Cities campus and Oct. 29 at the Duluth campus. Both actions would last four days. Strikes are not scheduled on any of the U's other campuses.

A statement posted by the union Thursday said the university has met some of the workers' economic demands but still falls short on other key issues.

"We are going to do everything we can to reach an agreement," the Teamsters said. "But if we cannot reach an agreement, the membership needs to be prepared to go on strike beginning next week."

The university responded by acknowledging the Teamsters' intent to strike next week, and also said that the school is prepared to keep operations running if negotiations are unsuccessful.

"We are committed to staying at the negotiating table for as long as necessary to reach an equitable settlement that ensures our employees are fairly compensated and rewarded for their work," the university said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

After the union voted last week to authorize a strike at the U, three mediation days were scheduled in hopes of reaching an agreement before Saturday, the first day the union could have opted to walk out.

In a statement earlier this month, the U's vice president of human resources Kenneth Horstman responded to the results of the strike authorization vote by saying that the school hopes to find common ground with its employees and avoid a strike that would hurt multiple parties on campus.

The union's announcement of its intent to begin a strike next week comes one day after the U's Twin Cities campus student government passed a resolution calling for the school to meet the workers' demands.

"These workers are critical to sustaining campus systems and student quality-of-life," student body president Flora Yang said in a statement Wednesday. "An improved contract with Teamsters Local 320 means an improved campus, for our student body and beyond."

Student Amanuel Nigatu doesn't live on campus but said Thursday he can see a strike affecting food service and cleanliness in the dorms. Even so, he supports the workers' demands.

"They're demanding a living wage," he said. "I think that's very fair. … I feel like it's about time that they make $20 an hour."

A $20-an-hour minimum wage across all positions is a key part of the union's demands, and the university said as of Thursday that they have agreed to this request. The union's other demands include seniority rights for long-term workers and the right to negotiate health insurance.