Big retailers want to put on a nice image for customers, but behind the scenes have been finding ways to skirt or break the law in order to lower wages and benefits for those cleaning the stores. Companies like Macy's, Herberger's, and Target contract out the cleaning jobs, so they don't have to follow all of the safe guards put in to protect employees. This means little to no protection on hours, benefits, or wages, and makes it extremely difficult for workers to unionize. Wage theft has been a rampant problem in this industry where companies have felt little pressure to abide by the law.
Through the Campaign for Justice in Retail Cleaning, retail janitors have fought to stop the downward spiral of wages and working conditions in the Twin Cities. Workers have organized to win 33% wage increases across the industry - the first raises workers had seen after over a decade of declining wages.
CTUL also won a Responsible Contractors Policy with Target Corporation that has begun to shift the entire market, with Best Buy and Macy's now contracting a responsible cleaning contractor, and other companies in ongoing conversations with CTUL. Workers are continuing to organize to expand on these victories to ensure that all retail cleaning workers have fair wages and working conditions.