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Retail Janitor Strike Report: June 2015


Retail janitors from over 50 stores in the Twin Cities metro area walked out on strike on 6.9.15 demanding fair wages and an end to wage theft. Just a day before the strike, CTUL published a new report about the prevalence of wage theft in the retail janitorial industry, including the class action lawsuit filed three weeks ago by employees of Capital who clean Macy’s and Herberger’s stores (“Held Up Without a Gun – Wage Theft in Minnesota’s Janitorial Industry“). Well over 250 striking workers and community allies joined the picket line from 6-7:30am. Click here for a longer report from the strike. Check out more photos from the picket line: Photos by Ryan StoperaPhotos by Ryan Nelson


Following the picket line, striking janitors joined workers, faith leaders, and community leaders from around the state for an action at Best Buy Corporate HQ, calling on the company to stop blocking local and state policies that would help working families. Click here for a report of the action.

Highlights of Press (for a complete list of coverage, click here)

  • Department Store Janitors Strike in Downtown Mpls,” WCCO, June 9, 2015 (video)
  • Janitors strike wages in downtown Minneapolis,” Fox 9 News, Rachel Chazin, June 9, 2015

    “I am going on strike because my employer, Capital Building Services Group, is cheating us,” Duniyo Hussein, who cleans the Macy’s at the Mall of America for CBSG, said. “$8.00 an hour is not fair for the work we do. We work hard. In the United States, no one should make such a low wage. I am going on strike so we can win fair wages and more rights at our job.”

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Fast Food Strike: April 2015

STRIKE 4.15!

“This is our moment — we are going to change service jobs from ones that drag our economy down into ones that lift up workers, families and communities,” said Carmela Palacios, Burger King employee and member of CTUL, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha/Center of Workers United in Struggle. “Fast-food workers are joining together and standing up for what’s right, and standing with so many people working in a variety of industries, we are stronger than ever. I know we will win.” “Fast food workers shut down Minneapolis intersection,” Barb Kucera, WorkDay Minnesota, April 15, 2015

Click here for a report with lots of photos from the 4.15 actions

Click here for more press coverage

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Fast Food Strike: December 2014


Picture by The Union Advocate

Thousands of fast food workers in over 190 cities around the country walked out on strike on December 4th, demanding $15 and union rights. Here in the Twin Cities, over 400 workers and community allies braved the cold for two actions at 6am and noon. Click here for a full report.

CTUL member Guillermo Lindsay in CBS MoneyWatch: “I’d rather live than survive. What about you?” Click the link below for the entire article, and click here for local coverage.

Fast-food nation: Workers stage nationwide protests,” Bruce Kennedy, CBS MoneyWatch, Dec. 4, 2014

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Retail Janitors Strike for Our Lives: Black Friday 2014

CTUL all worker meme

Huelga Para Nuestras Vidas

Retail janitors who work for contracted companies cleaning large stores like Home Depot, Sears, Kohl’s and others walked out on strike today at over 50 stores in the Twin Cities, demanding fair wages and the right to organize. Hundreds of allies stood with workers in the freezing cold for three hours. Click here for more pictures from the picket line.

In front of HD

Recently, Target Corporation committed to play a leadership role by implementing the industry’s first Responsible Contractor Policy. Yet, the companies that clean Target stores are not only ignoring workers’ voices, they are also ignoring Target by not respecting the new Responsible Contractor Policy. Workers still report having to work seven days a week, ongoing sub-poverty wages that take a toll on workers’ health, and no clear path to ensure workers’ voices. Since these and other large cleaning companies continue to pay poverty wages and refuse to take workers seriously, workers at four cleaning companies walked out on strike: Prestige Maintenance USA, Carlson Building Maintenace, Kimco Services and Diversified Maintenance Systems.

Press coverage:

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Target Adopts Responsible Contractor Policy: June 2014

CTUL Victoria 2014 - Social Media

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:

  1. Protecting and ensuring workers’ rights to collectively bargain with their employers;
  2. 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
  3. 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%.

Press Highlights

“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.”

“…a strong core of leaders in the industry, who have gone on three strikes…that’s the mechanism of enforcement.”

Complete list of media coverage

Videos from the Victory Announcement

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Retail Janitors Strike: Black Friday 2013

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.

March to End Poverty Wages in MN

Video from MN2020