After six years of marches, strikes and more, retail janitors organizing with CTUL have won a permanent voice across the entire industry. The Twin Cities is now the first metropolitan area in the entire country where the retail janitorial industry is union.
Maricela Flores, CTUL member and retail janitor, in the Guardian about the victory: “I could have done nothing, but I chose to fight. This has been a long fight, but now I feel overjoyed. All the hard work has paid off.”
While the majority of the retail janitorial industry is now union, one company refuses to recognize workers’ right to organize: Kimco Cleaning. Kimco cleans Kohl’s, Home Depot and JC Penney in the Twin Cities.
TAKE ACTION TO STAND WITH WORKERS:
- Kimco workers are gearing up for a major action on November 29, 2016. Click below to donate now.
The movement for worker voice is growing in leaps and bounds: retail janitors are on the verge of winning systemic change across the entire industry; the Fight for $15 is expanding beyond just fast food workers; we are establishing the right to paid sick days; CTUL members are driving a new worker-driven enforcement model in the Twin Cities; CTUL has moved into a new, low-wage worker of color run space in South Minneapolis; and much more! Join us as we take the movement to an entirely new level…
CTUL is seeking applicants for a lead organizer for our Worker Voice Capital Campaign. Click here for more details.
Today, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to pass Earned Sick and Safe Time. This historic vote comes after more than a year of leaders with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) and many other organizations fighting to win.
”Passing earned sick and safe time is a huge victory for workers and our families. Fast food workers and janitors with CTUL have been striking for the past few years for higher wages, union rights, a voice in the workplace and benefits like paid sick days and finally our city is taking a big step to help us workers and our families. We deserve to take care of our health and our families as well,” said Guillermo Lindsay, a McDonald’s worker and member of CTUL.
Hundreds of striking fast food workers and community allies came out for a day of action, fighting for $15, union rights, and paid sick days. The day started with an action at the McDonald’s at 471 Marion St. in St. Paul, and ended with an action at the McDonald’s at Lake and 2nd in Minneapolis.
Jesus Sanchez, CTUL member: “By uniting together my co-workers and I have won a big victory. But we shouldn’t be forced to sue our employer to be paid for hours that we already worked. Wage theft is an all too common problem for retail janitors. We don’t need a band-aid. We need a cure. And that cure is a voice on the job, union rights, and $15 an hour. My co-workers and I are prepared to strike on February 18th if Capital refuses to enter into sincere dialogue about these issues.” (Jesus works for Capital Building Group Services cleaning a Macy’s and Herberger’s store)
In the morning, Lucila stood with workers who complain of unpaid wages in the sub-contracted cleaning of Walgreens and other stores. Later that evening she received top honors from the Saint Paul Foundation for her anti-racism work, organizing with low-wage workers of color for fair wages, fair working conditions, and a voice in the workplace.
“Low-wage workers of color who are members of CTUL, like myself, are stepping up. We refuse to follow the vicious cycle of changing from job to job, stuck in a system of economic, social and racial inequity. Instead, we are working to change the jobs where we are, proactively working to build healthy communities for everyone. Target Corporation has demonstrated interest in following the leadership of low-wage workers of color. We are calling on Best Buy and other Minnesotan corporations to step up as well so that together we can establish economic, social and racial equity for all Minnesotans.”
Over 500 striking workers and community allies took to the streets in Minneapolis this on November 10, 2015! The day started bright and early at 5:30am in a picket with striking fast food workers at the McDonald’s at University and Broadway in Northeast Minneapolis. Workers then marched to the Macy’s in Downtown Minneapolis for a picket against cleaning companies with striking retail janitors. Finally, striking workers joined hundreds of other low-wage workers in a rally inside of Minneapolis City Hall.