CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE IN RETAIL CLEANING
“Every night, we are surrounded by food as we clean the grocery stores in our community. Yet often we cannot afford to put enough food on the table for our own families.”
Over the past 10-15 years, wages and working conditions in retail cleaning have spiralled out of control, with constantly lowering wages and increasing workloads. Through the Campaign for Justice in Retail Cleaning, not only have workers stopped the downward spiral in the Twin Cities, workers report that they have gained the first wage increase they have seen in the industry in quite some time. Workers are continuing to organize to expand on these victories to ensure that all retail cleaning workers have fair wages and working conditions.
See more history of the campaign below, and even more here, including links about the victory with workers winning a Responsible Contractor Policy at Target stores and links on the three strikes in 2013.
- Wall of Shame – Highlighting the repeated violations of workers rights that have taken place locally and nationally in retail cleaning.
- “A Dirty Business: Worker Exploitation in Minnesota’s Retail Janitorial Industry” – A report published by CTUL on April 25, 2012 that argues that low wages and other problems “pervade the retail janitorial industry in Minnesota and throughout the United States”, with documentation from the United States Department of Labor and numerous lawsuits. Click here for a copy of the white paper.
- Videos of the campaign
- Endorsing Organizations of the campaign
- Recent Press Coverage of the campaign
- Facebook page
After four years of organizing including leading three strikes against cleaning companies in 2013, and a year of dialogue between Target Corporation, CTUL and retail janitors, Target is taking a leadership role in the industry by adopting new language in an unprecedented Responsible Contractor Policy that will be implemented for new cleaning contracts at their stores. The policy is the first of its kind nationally in the industry. CTUL is now calling on every other major retail stores to follow Target’s leadership by adopting the same Responsible Contractor Policy, including:
- Protecting and ensuring workers’ rights to collectively bargain with their employers;
- Ensuring that workers have the right to form safety committees in the workplace made up of at least 50% workers who are designated by their co-workers; and
- Ensuring that workers are not forced to work seven days a week.
This victory paves the way for workers to gain fair wages, benefits, and a voice in the workplace, and has implications that move well beyond the estimated 1,000 retail janitors in the Twin Cities, opening the door to ensure that low-wage workers of color have a place at the table in deciding the future of work. Fundamentally this is part of CTUL’s vision of empowering low-wage workers to play a leadership role in reorganizing the economy to ensure that it works for everyone, not just the 1%.
- CTUL’s analysis of the victory
- Statements of support for workers with this victory from U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, National Guestworker Alliance, Janice Fine, and many more.
- CTUL Video about the victory
- Press Release about the victory / Salida de Prensa acerca de la victoria
Press Highlights (click here for all coverage)
- “Target Adopts ‘Breakthrough’ Policy for Janitors,” Kare 11 News, Lindsey Seavert, June 10, 2014
“The janitors who clean Twin Cities Target stores announced victory today, after the retailer agreed to a new policy that will give the workers better conditions, including the right to collectively bargain, and ensure workers are not forced to work seven days a week.”
- “Target Bends to Labor, Tells Contractors to Meet with Unions,” Bloomberg Businessweek, Josh Eidelson, June 12, 2014
“…a strong core of leaders in the industry, who have gone on three strikes…that’s the mechanism of enforcement.”
- “Janitors at Target stores to see new protections in contracts,” MPR, Tom Weber, June 10, 2014
And in case you missed the reports of previous actions…
NEW: Video from Labor Education Services:
What a day! Hundreds of workers and community allies made it through the freezing cold for four and a half hours on a picket line with striking retail janitors this morning. Click here for pictures from the picket.
NEW: Video from MN2020
In case you missed the previous two strikes, check out the pictures and reports here:
Click here for even more history on the campaign