After six years of marches, strikes and more, retail janitors organizing with CTUL have won a permanent voice across the entire industry. The Twin Cities is now the first metropolitan area in the entire country where the retail janitorial industry is union.
Maricela Flores, CTUL member and retail janitor, in the Guardian about the victory: “I could have done nothing, but I chose to fight. This has been a long fight, but now I feel overjoyed. All the hard work has paid off.”
"Twin Cities janitors declare victory in union fight after 44-month campaign" Stephen Greenhouse, The Guardian, October 13, 2016
"Working Together, Reversing Trends,” Veronica Mendez Moore, USDOL Blog, October 13, 2016
Statements From Allies
U.S. Senator Al Franken
"Strong unions mean good jobs that help our economy work for the middle-class and those aspiring to be in the middle class. That's why I'm thrilled that after six years of organizing with CTUL to fight for their rights, Twin Cities retail janitors have won a union. I'm proud of CTUL and the retail janitors' efforts, and that Minnesota workers will have a seat at the table to negotiate for safer workplaces, fairer wages, and better benefits."
State Representative Frank Hornstein
"This is a very significant victory for workers rights. I salute the work of CTUL in organizing immigrant workers who need and deserve respect, better wages and working conditions."
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor
"Despite the bleakness of national politics, good stuff is happening at the grass roots. For example, today – after a seven-year fight -- 600 janitors who clean Target, Macy’s, Best Buys, and other retail giants in Minneapolis and St. Paul have finally won union recognition. It’s the most successful effort to unionize retail store janitors in the United States, and the Twin Cities is the first major metropolitan area in America where retail janitorial workers are unionized industry-wide.
They surmounted hurdles Donald Trump would appreciate -- few of the janitors speak English; they’re from many countries, including El Salvador to Somalia; many are undocumented; and many work in isolation and at night. But an immigrant workers’ center – Centro Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (United Workers Center in Struggle) – slowly began organizing the janitors, undertaking a three-mile protest march, a 12-day hunger strike, two federal class-action lawsuits for unpaid wages, and a series of steadily expanding one-day strikes. The years of work have paid off..."
Hear From Our Leaders
News about Our Victory
"Twin Cities janitors declare victory in union fight after 44-month campaign," Stephen Greenhouse, The Guardian, October 13, 2016
“Minneapolis janitors win right to unionize after employers accused of ‘rampant wage theft’,” RT America, October 14, 2016
“Working Together, Reversing Trends,” Veronica Mendez Moore, USDOL Blog, October 13, 2016
“Janitors in Minneapolis & St. Paul Win Union Recognition,” Democracy Now, October 14, 2016
“Retail store janitors win union status in Minneapolis-St. Paul,” Gabriel Sanchez, Pioneer Press, October 14, 2016
JANITORS UNIONIZE IN TWIN CITIES in the Politico Morning Shift (scroll about 2/3 of the way down), October 14, 2016
"Retail janitors in the Twin Cities unionize, after pressure from retailers on contractors," Adam Belz, Star Tribune, October 13, 2016
"Low-wage workers chalk up another victory as CTUL members win union,” Barb Kucera, Workday Minnesota, October 13, 2016
“Twin Cities retail janitors unionize (with some help from Target),” Mark Reilly, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, October 14, 2016