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After Day of Action, CTUL Calls On Kohl’s To Meet With The Workers Who Clean Their Stores And Apologize For The Violent Behavior Of Mall Security

Peaceful protesters assaulted while singing Christmas carols in Eden Prairie Mall.

Retail janitors and their community allies walked through the Eden Prairie Mall on Nov. 29 to call on Kohl’s to implement a Responsible Contractor Policy. Retail janitors and community allies showed up to the mall in the Christmas spirit wearing Santa hats, singing Christmas carols with  lyrics that included their asks, and even “Santa Claus!” The holiday spirit quickly melted away when the mall security officer began to assault the peaceful carolers.

“We went to Kohl’s very peacefully and cheerfully to call on them to implement a Responsible Contractor Policy,” said Veronica Mendez – Moore, co-director of CTUL. “Shortly after entering the mall, the security officer began assaulting us, pushing people across the hallway, swinging around a drumstick taken from drummers amongst the carolers, and using the stick to hit carolers and jabbed it into my ribs. We were singing songs and walking through the mall and he began to get very aggressive. He was obviously not in the holiday spirit. Eventually the police came and escorted him to a back room and allowed us to finish our caroling as we exited, but not before the security officer pushed several members of our group and even punched someone.”

The carolers then gathered outside as “Santa” asked the retail janitors what their holiday wishes were. “A Responsible Contractor Policy would allow us the opportunity to organize for a union without retaliation,” said Luciano Balbuena, a CTUL member and retail janitor. “This would allow us the opportunity to make better wages and have the benefits we need to take care of our families. This is my Christmas wish.”

This was one of several actions workers participated in throughout the day as part of a national day of disruption. CTUL members and allies are now calling on Kohl’s to meet with the retail janitors who clean their stores in addition to an apology for the violent response from the mall security.

Eden Prairie mall guard gets rough with protesters singing Christmas carols,” Mike Mullen, City Pages, December 5, 2016.