All in a Day’s Work!

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Puzder Resigns, Minnesota State Legislature Introduces Wage Theft Proposal

When we fight, we win!

Feb. 15, 2017. In the face of overwhelming odds, low-wage worker leaders with CTUL are standing up and winning real change.

On Monday CTUL fast food worker members protested outside of Hardees in St. Paul as part of a nationwide fast food worker-led action to say No to Andrew Puzder (CEO of Hardees) for U.S. Department of Labor Secretary. This morning Puzder’s nomination was withdrawn.

One year ago, when asked about wage theft Governor Dayton stated: “It’s the first I’ve heard of that concern…I’d want to talk to Commissioner Ken Peterson (Department of Labor and Industry) to see what his take on it is.” This afternoon, after a series of meetings with CTUL members to learn about the issue over the past few weeks, Lt. Governor Tina Smith stood with State Representatives to introduce a bill aimed at cracking down on wage theft.

This is just the beginning. On March 12, 2017 CTUL will launch our Raise Worker Voice Campaign, with the goal of taking our organizing efforts to scale and winning a voice with tens of thousands of workers across Minnesota.

Click here to donate in support of the campaign, and join CTUL’s 6th Annual Pancake Brunch to learn more: March 12, 10am – 2pm, 3715 Chicago Ave. S.

Job Openings

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CTUL Job Openings

Alright y’all – we know that times are tough right now, but every grassroots organization knows that with every challenge comes opportunities; and the bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity. Join a team of worker leaders and organizers at CTUL as we grow the movement to not just resist oppression, but to build and win alternatives:

  • Donor Organizer: CTUL is seeking applications for a full-time position as a Donor Organizer. This position will lead the work of organizing individual donors, and will work with a team on the Raise Workers’ Voices Campaign to raise approximately $1.5 million in two years to take CTUL’s work to the next level. Click here for more information.
  • Lead Organizer in the Fight for $15: CTUL seeks to hire for a Lead Organizer in the Fight for $15 national campaign organizing fast food workers in coordination with organizations in many cities that have participated in a series of coordinated strikes and other workplace actions to win $15/hour and a Union as well as a voice on the job. This position will require a lot of initiative and the ability to work very independently to build power with fast food workers locally at CTUL while working with nationally coordinated actions to transform the fast food industry. Click here for more information.

6th Annual Pancake Brunch

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6th Annual CTUL Pancake Brunch Fundraiser

March 12, 2017, 10:00am – 2:00pm

3715 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

It’s almost time for CTUL’s 6th Annual Pancake Brunch Fundraiser! Now more than ever we need to stand with each other to build a power movement of the people. In this spirit, we will be launching the Raise Workers’ Voices Campaign at this year’s Brunch – a campaign aimed at our organizing to the next level, winning fair wages, fair working conditions, and a voice in the workplace with thousands of low-wage workers across the state. Join us to learn more and to become a part of the campaign.

Save the date, more details coming soon!

Strike against “Trump Model” Business

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Retail Janitors Strike against Trump and Poverty Wages

“We are trying to put a stop to the poverty wages…Donald Trump, he supports these low wages and he has said that he doesn’t think workers deserve better wages,” Luciano Balbuena,CTUL member and striking retail janitor, quoted in the New York Times this morning.


Check out this interview by Sarah Jaffe of CTUL member Luciano Balbuena and CTUL Co-Director Veronica Mendez Moore. The transcript of this interview has been covered by Bill MoyersIn These Times, TruthOut, and The Baffler

Immigrant Workers Are Already Fighting Back Against Trump,” Michelle Chen, The Nation, January 23, 2017

Hours before Donald Trump’s Inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, retail janitors organizing with CTUL who are contracted to clean more than a dozen Home Depot and other stores in the Twin Cities went out on strike against their cleaning contractor to protest their poverty wages and Donald Trump’s anti-worker agenda – the first strike against Donald Trump in the country since his election. The workers and supporters numbered hundreds as they picketed outside of the Home Depot at the Quarry in Northeast Minneapolis, chanting and holding a giant banner that says “On Strike Against Trump and Poverty Wages.”

Click here for more photos of the action

Press Coverage (click here for complete coverage):

Inauguration Day Strike 1.20.17

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January 20, 2017 – Inauguration Day – Now more than ever it is time to act…

On January 20, Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day, janitors who clean Home Depot stores in the Twin Cities will go on strike against their cleaning contractor to protest their poverty wages and Donald Trump’s anti-worker agenda – the first strike against Donald Trump in the country since his election.

The two founders of Home Depot have donated millions of dollars to Trump and one of Home Depot’s major investors supports Trump. Home Depot uses the Trump model of business for its janitorial services: using subcontractors that hire immigrant workers and sometimes face lawsuits for wage theft.

Janitors who clean Home Depot are paid poverty wages by their subcontractor and have been organizing for years to win fair wages and the right to form a union without retaliation. If Trump has his way, these worker’s wages will go even lower – as Trump told the country in November 2016, “wages are too high.”

Stand with striking janitors at 5:30am at The Quarry, 1520 New Brighton Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55413.

Fast Food Strike: Nov. 29, 2016

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11.29.16 #Fightfor15


Over 1,000 workers and community allies poured out to the streets for multiple protests on November 29, 2016 calling for $15 and union rights.

Some initial press coverage (click here for more press coverage of the day):

FAST FOOD STRIKE: 5:30-7:00am

Over 300 people joined an early morning action with striking fast food workers at the McDonald’s on 24th and Nicollet in South Minneapolis, where 21 striking fast food workers and community allies were arrested in peaceful act of civil disobedience for $15 and union rights


“We are out here today on strike and risking arrest,” said Steven Suffridge, CTUL  member and McDonald’s employee. “We have been organizing for a few years now and have won raises in cities all across America. Here in the Twin Cities we have won paid sick days and will continue to fight until we win $15 and a union. I am willing to be arrested today to let corporations and elected officials know that we are going to keep fighting until we win!” Photo by Patience Zalaga.

Click here for more photos from the morning strike 



Retail janitors and allies marched through Eden Prarie Mall singing Christmas carols calling on Kohl’s to adopt a Responsible Contractor Policy




Airport workers recently won union rights with SEIU Local 26. Here CTUL members stand with airport workers as well as newly elected MN State Representative Ilhan Omar stands to send a message that “love trumps hate.” Our communities are united and stronger than ever!



CTUL stands in solidarity with Franklin Street Bakery workers demanding living wages and the right to unionize without retaliation. Their boss runs a hunger relief charity but pays his own workers so little they can’t afford nutritious food for their families.



CTUL member Yobani speaks to fellow construction workers at a North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters action protesting payroll fraud and dangerous conditions at this nonunion job site. CTUL stands in solidarity with all workers who are fighting back against poverty wages and no voice on the job.

MASS MARCH AT UofM: 4:30-7:00pm


Over 1,000 student workers, educators and full-time university employees together with CTUL members and community allies marched from UofM to the Dinkytown McDonald’s calling for $15 and union rights in our jobs, in Minneapolis, and in all of Minnesota

Click here for more photos of the march and rally at UofM

Christmas carolers assaulted by mall security

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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.

11.29 A Day of Resistance #Fightfor15

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016



The time is now!

Workers from 10 different industries representing around a quarter of the entire workforce in the Twin Cities metro area unite in the #Fightfor15, calling on corporations and elected officials to ensure that $15 for families becomes a reality in Minneapolis and in all of Minnesota. Highlights include:

5:30-7:00am, Fast Food Workers Strike, McDonald’s at 2400 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis.


Last year Teresa Benson, a Minneapolis fast food worker and CTUL leader in the #Fightfor15, passed away. Despite working at McDonald’s for years, Teresa was homeless, had no medical care, and ultimately ended up losing her life on the streets. We cannot lose another community member! Striking workers will be joined by hundreds of community allies including U.S. Representative Keith Ellison.

7:00-9:00am, Retail Janitorial Action, Kohl’s in Eden Prairie, 450 Prairie Center Dr.


For Kohl’s, the holiday season makes up for 30% of their annual sales. While corporations like Kohl’s make huge profits during the holiday season, the retail janitors who keep their stores clean struggle to survive. Join retail janitors in the call on Kohl’s to implement a Responsible Contractor Policy. This will put janitors on the path to having good paying, stable jobs, with benefits like paid sick days just like other retail janitors in the Twin Cities who recently won a union!

4:30-7:00pm, Unity March, Coffman Union at UofM, 300 Washington Ave. SE.


Student workers, full-time university workers, teachers, fast food workers, retail janitors, construction workers, retail workers, bakery workers, home healthcare workers, and airport workers unite in a march calling on corporations and elected officials to ensure that $15 for families becomes a reality in Minneapolis and all of Minnesota. The time is now!