Press Release: Frontline Workers Praise Minneapolis City Council Move to Establish Downtown Workers Council to Ensure Workers’ Voices are Heard


Thursday, January 21st

Contact: Isabela Escalona, CTUL, 708-557-1119, 

Josh Keller, SEIU,


Frontline Workers Praise Minneapolis City Council Move to Establish Downtown Workers Council to Ensure Workers’ Voices are Heard


Frontline workers who have keep city running during COVID push for way to make sure the voices of working people are heard at City Hall


MINNEAPOLIS– Frontline workers spoke out Thursday as the Minneapolis City Council began the process to start a Downtown Workers Council Thursday at the Public Health & Safety Committee. The council will consist of workers across sectors including food service, cleaning, security and more who will develop recommendations for the city regarding workplace safety through the pandemic. 

Directing staff in the Labor Standards Division of the Civil Rights Department will work with the Workplace Advisory Committee to form a Downtown Workers Subcommittee, to identify options for safeguarding the health and safety of the downtown workforce as it returns from shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to report back to the Public Health and Safety Committee with initial recommendations no later than July 31, 2021.

Gloria Estrada Moreno, a restaurant worker and member with Centro de Trabajadores Unidas en Lucha (CTUL) said that  “As a restaurant worker downtown, it is important that workers have a voice in the workplace to decide our health and safety standards. The restaurant I was working at closed down because of the pandemic. I never received my paid sick and safe time. I’m waiting for downtown to open back up but in a way that is safe for all: workers, customers, everyone.”

Dan Scoggins, a 30-year Security Officer who works in Downtown Minneapolis and is a Steward and Executive Board member of SEIU Local 26, shared why it is so critical to have essential workers’ voices at the table. 

“Security officers and janitors are essential workers. We have been working all through the pandemic, and when Covid strikes our families, we have the double burden of managing the illness and being put out of work on quarantine. Twice this year I have been out of work due to sick family members. If we want people to keep each other safe, we need to be paid when we are quarantined by our employers,” said Scoggins. “In order for Minneapolis to work, we need the input of those who work downtown to be heard. I am glad the City Council is starting the process to engage with these downtown workers to hear from our experience – not just our bosses and huge corporations –so the city can safely re-open.”

As the economy reopens across the state, frontline essential workers, primarily Black and Brown, take significant risks to put food on the table for their families and keep the economy moving. While the Governor has mandated that all businesses create a COVID preparedness plan, and that workers be consulted in creating it, there is still a tremendous lack of solid safety protocols and essential workers are bearing the brunt.

Throughout COVID workers have been forced to decide between working in unsafe conditions or putting their jobs at risk when they speak out or attempt to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves, their families and health of the general public.

Earlier in the pandemic a statewide forum was held to hear from workers about their experiences. Over a dozen workers from different industries shared stories of having insufficient PPE, being told to stay home from work but not receiving any pay, being forced to work in close proximity with others and not having sufficient time to wash hands or sanitize properly. They also spoke about specific concerns in the construction industry, in food and retail as well as childcare industries. 



Job Openings

Job Openings with CTUL

  • Updated: Director of Administration, CTUL. This position will be responsible for leading and coordinating the infrastructure staff team and educating a staff of 20 on organizational practices and compliance as we grow. Click here for more details.
  • Updated: Worker Organizer, CTUL. This is a full-time, salaried position organizing workers in the Twin Cities. It is a year long commitment with the possibility of extension.  This work includes meeting new contacts, identifying potential leaders, and developing leadership to build power in their workplace and in their communities. Click here for more details.
  • Updated: Digital Organizer, CTUL. This is a full-time, salaried position and a year-long commitment with the possibility of extension. This position will be responsible for planning and executing our digital recruitment and engagement strategy. Click here for more details. 
  • Updated: Worker Organizer, CTUL. This is a full-time, salaried position organizing workers in the Twin Cities and surrounding area, with an emphasis on organizing Black workers and other workers of color. Organizers at CTUL are the primary connection with our membership and essential to building worker power. Click here for details. 

Future of 38th and Chicago

Future of 38th and Chicago

En español abajo…

We are at a critical juncture in rebuilding the Twin Cities after the George Floyd uprising: 

  • The Minneapolis Forward: Community Now Coalition created by the Mayor of Minneapolis recently held a virtual press conference about rebuilding, claiming to represent community interests for a “stronger, equitable, inclusive, resilient, and innovative city.” However, the “coalition” is clearly led by business interests.
  • The City of Minneapolis is planning on reopening the corner of 38th and Chicago during the week of August 17. Residents of the George Floyd Square Zone have created a list of demands of the city before the barricades are removed, including investing in black leadership in the community. 

As we move forward in rebuilding efforts, we must keep in mind the Statement on Rebuilding Our Community signed by community-based organizations across the metro area – “Nothing about us without us is for us”. 

The corner of 38th and Chicago, where George Floyd was murdered by the Minneapolis Police Department, is a sacred memorial for mourning, reflection, and reimagining a future for our community beyond police and business interests. Over the past few months this has been a site of significant contention regarding the future of the block and the future of the movement. CTUL stands in the belief that we must prioritize a permanent memorial for George Floyd on the corner that properly reflects the significance of this moment and the sacredness of the space.

In the past few months our block has been the site of protests, rage, art, and joy. It has also been the site of gun violence and other symptoms of a system that is consistently failing to provide the community with fair paying jobs, truly affordable housing, and other basic needs. Before the killing of George Floyd, what was once a historically Black neighborhood has been thwarted by gentrification—pricing Black and Brown residents out of the neighborhood. The compounding injustices of systemic racism, police violence, and the inequities regarding COVID-19 led to righteous anger and the need to radically reimagine what safety and care look like in our community. 

We join the call led by Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization and Bryant Neighborhood Organization to close Cup Foods and rebuild the site as a permanent memorial for George Floyd and victims of police brutality. This is a historic site that sparked a worldwide movement against police brutality. It must continue to reflect a more just future for all.

We also join the Statement on Rebuilding our Community to “reconstruct physical infrastructure in a way that reflects the values of those who have been historically excluded from development in our neighborhoods. We envision a thriving, multicultural, and truly affordable community where workers, tenants, small business owners, Black communities and other communities of color have the opportunity to lead and make decisions about what the future of our neighborhoods will look like.”

We cannot go back to business as usual until the City establishes this process together with community. We need to see investment into our block, neighborhoods, and neighbors. We hope the City of Minneapolis respects our call as we think about the future of the corner of 38th and Chicago. 


El Futuro de 38 y Chicago

Nos encontramos en una coyuntura crítica en la reconstrucción de las Ciudades Gemelas después del levantamiento de George Floyd:

  • La Coalición Minneapolis Forward: Community Now creada por el alcalde de Minneapolis celebró recientemente una conferencia de prensa virtual sobre la reconstrucción, afirmando representar los intereses de la comunidad para una “ciudad más fuerte, equitativa, inclusiva, resiliente e innovadora”. Sin embargo, la “coalición” está claramente dirigida por intereses comerciales.
  • La ciudad de Minneapolis planea reabrir la esquina de 38th y Chicago durante la semana del 17 de agosto. Los residentes de George Floyd Square Zone han creado una lista de demandas de la ciudad antes de que se eliminen las barricadas, incluida la inversión en liderazgo negro en el comunidad.


A medida que avanzamos en los esfuerzos de reconstrucción, debemos tener en cuenta la Declaración de la Reconstrucción de Nuestra Comunidad firmada por organizaciones comunitarias en todo el área metropolitana: “Nada sobre nosotros sin nosotros es para nosotros”.


La esquina de 38th y Chicago, donde George Floyd fue asesinado por el Departamento de Policía de Minneapolis, es un monumento sagrado para el duelo, la reflexión y la reinvención de un futuro para nuestra comunidad más allá de la policía y los intereses comerciales. En los últimos meses, este ha sido un sitio de contención significativa sobre el futuro del bloque y el futuro del movimiento. CTUL cree que debemos priorizar un monumento permanente para George Floyd en la esquina que refleje adecuadamente la importancia de este momento y el carácter sagrado del espacio.


En los últimos meses nuestro bloque ha sido escenario de protestas, rabia, arte y alegría. También ha sido escenario de violencia armada y otros síntomas de un sistema que consistentemente no brinda a la comunidad trabajos con salarios justos, viviendas verdaderamente asequibles y otras necesidades básicas. Antes del asesinato de George Floyd, lo que alguna vez fue un vecindario históricamente negro se ha visto frustrado por la gentrificación, que ha puesto precio a los residentes negros y Latinxs fuera del vecindario. Las agravantes injusticias del racismo sistémico, la violencia policial y las desigualdades con respecto a COVID-19 llevaron a una ira justa y la necesidad de reinventar radicalmente cómo son la seguridad y la atención en nuestra comunidad.


Nos unimos al llamado dirigido por la Organización de Desarrollo de Vecindarios del Área Central y la Organización de Vecindarios de Bryant para cerrar Cup Foods y reconstruir el sitio como un monumento permanente para Geroge Floyd y las víctimas de la brutalidad policial. Este es un sitio histórico que provocó un movimiento mundial contra la brutalidad policial. Debe seguir reflejando un futuro más justo para todos.


También nos unimos a la Declaración sobre la reconstrucción de nuestra comunidad para “reconstruir la infraestructura física de una manera que refleje los valores de aquellos que históricamente han sido excluidos del desarrollo en nuestros vecindarios. Visualizamos una comunidad próspera, multicultural y verdaderamente asequible donde los trabajadores, inquilinos, propietarios de pequeñas empresas, comunidades negras y otras comunidades de color tienen la oportunidad de liderar y tomar decisiones sobre cómo será el futuro de nuestros vecindarios.” No podemos volver a la normalidad hasta que la ciudad establezca este proceso junto con la comunidad. Necesitamos ver inversiones en nuestra cuadra, vecindarios y vecinos. Esperamos que la ciudad de Minneapolis respete nuestro llamado mientras pensamos en el futuro de la esquina de 38th y Chicago.

Statement on Rebuilding Our Community

Nothing about us without us is for us

Rebuilding by and for impacted communities


The grief and rage that poured out into the streets in response to the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis has now become a worldwide movement against police violence, a movement largely led by Black youth. As rapid change continues, it is critical that the most impacted communities in the Twin Cities–especially the Black, Brown, Indigenous, and immigrant communities typically left out by our political system–maintain leadership. 

In the Twin Cities, we witnessed the destruction of various sites, including Lake Street in South Minneapolis, Broadway Avenue in North Minneapolis, Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis, and University Ave in St. Paul. Also, 38th and Chicago, the site of the murder that sparked this global movement, remains a site of immense pain and holds the possibility to become a space for community healing.

The Twin Cities metro area is now faced with the unique challenge and opportunity to reconstruct physical infrastructure in a way that reflects the values of those who have been historically excluded from development in our neighborhoods. We envision a thriving, multicultural, and truly affordable community where workers, tenants, small business owners, Black communities and other communities of color have the opportunity to lead and make decisions about what the future of our neighborhoods will look like. 

We will not stand by idly while large corporations, financial institutions, and politicians who put their interests first once again profit during this time of crisis, uprooting immigrant, refugee, Indigenous, and Black owned wealth and assets that have been built over the past several decades. We will not accept the promises of getting back to “normal”–a normal where Black Minnesotans face some of the worst racial disparities in the country. 

We imagine a rebuilding process where we devote resources toward building the skills of our community; careers that pull people out of poverty into living wage jobs in construction and commercial businesses, community ownership of businesses, and housing that is truly affordable for the communities who already live and work in these neighborhoods.

The following organizations stand together in the call for rebuilding a multi-cultural space that is truly led by and for the people of the community: 

ACER, The Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, Awood Center, BDC, Bishop Bruce R. Ough (Minnesota Conference of The United Methodist Church), Bishop Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Black Visions, CANDO, CTUL,  Executive Director Richard H. Coleman (Hope United CDC), East Side Freedom Library, Frogtown Neighborhood Organization, Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia, Reclaim the Block, Rev. Ingrid Arneson Rasmussen, Lead Pastor (Holy Trinity Lutheran Church), Sierra Club Northstar Chapter, St. Paul Almanac, Take Action Minnesota, UnidosMN/Navigate, WSCO.

Statement on Police Killing of George Floyd

Yesterday on May 26th 2020, the Minneapolis Police Department killed George Floyd, a Black man, in broad daylight on the corner of 38th and Chicago, down the block from CTUL’s building. This is our community. This is where we gather and expect to be safe. The police have terrorized Black communities for hundreds of years in our city and throughout this country. This isn’t just about a few officers, but institutional racism and police violence that plagues our community. We need systemic change.

At the end of 2019, CTUL demanded that the Minneapolis City Council reconsider their proposal to increase the Minneapolis police budget and invest in community organizations instead. Even after hundreds of community testimonies warning about this exact type of injustice, our city officials failed us, just how government officials failed Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and now George Floyd.

CTUL member Ignancia Ambriz stated that “This makes me angry. We are trying to deal with the craziness of the pandemic and now we need to deal with the police too. We are supposed to be surviving this moment, not dying in the hands of the police”.

We are gathering at the site of this horrific killing, at the intersection of 38th and Chicago Ave in Minneapolis, to demand justice for George Floyd and his family. Firing them is not enough, they must be criminally charged for their hideous conduct. Additionally, we need a fundamental change to the Minneapolis Police Department.


Ayer, el 26 de mayo de 2020, el Departamento de Policía de Minneapolis mató a George Floyd, un hombre Negro, a plena luz del día en la esquina de 38th y Chicago, una calle desde CTUL. Esta es nuestra comunidad. Aquí es donde nos reunimos y esperamos estar a seguros. La policía ha aterrorizado a las comunidades Negras durante cientos de años en nuestra ciudad y en todo el país. No se trata solo de unos pocos oficiales, sino del racismo institucional y la violencia policial que afecta a nuestra comunidad. Necesitamos un cambio sistémico.

A fines de 2019, CTUL demandó que el City Council de Minneapolis reconsiderara su propuesta de aumentar el presupuesto de la policía de Minneapolis e invertir en organizaciones comunitarias. Incluso después de que cientos de testimonios de la comunidad advirtieron sobre este tipo exacto de injusticia, los funcionarios de nuestra ciudad nos fallaron, al igual que los funcionarios del gobierno le fallaron a Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Eric Garner y ahora a George Floyd.

Miembra de CTUL, Ignancia Ambriz, declaró que “Esto me enoja. Estamos tratando de lidiar con la locura de la pandemia y ahora también tenemos que defendernos de la policía. Se supone que debemos sobrevivir en este momento, no morir en manos de la policía ”.

Nos estamos reuniendo en el lugar de este horrible asesinato, en la intersección de 38th y Chicago Ave en Minneapolis, para exigir justicia para George Floyd y su familia. No es suficiente despedirlos y exigimos penalmente acusados ​​por su horrible conducta. Además, necesitamos un cambio fundamental en el Departamento de Policía de Minneapolis.


(photo from Floyd’s social media page)

Response to Lifting of Stay at Home Order

Workers are the frontline Defenders of Community Health during COVID-19 and must be included in deciding and implementing workplace safety standards

We find ourselves in a pivotal moment of change. Instead of going back to the old “normal”, a reality based on the exploitation of workers, we can unite together and demand a new normal led and shaped by workers’ voices, one that prioritizes safety over profit, and a chance to build a new economy that allows workers and their families to survive this crisis and thrive beyond it.

On Wednesday May 13th, Governor Walz announced that Minnesota will begin reopening sectors of the economy. We believe this decision is coming too soon, considering the public health recommendations and the lack of protection for workers who will be called back into work. For those who do go to work, we need to ensure that frontline workers have a voice in establishing and enforcing safety standards in their workplaces.

Click here to read CTUL’s complete statement on workplace safety during COVID-19



(en español abajo)

The World is changing cecause of COVID-19 and everyone’s jobs & lives are affected. Workers have won new rights in the middle of the pandemic


  • If you are still working, your employer is legally required to provide you with a safe workplace, including protections from COVID-19. Click here to learn more about the right to a safe workplace.
  • If you have lost your job for any reason related to COVID-19, there are paid benefits available to all workers, including:
    • If you work at a small to medium sized company (smaller than 500 employees), and you have personally be quarantined or you are caring for a family member (including a child whose school has been closed), your employer is required to provide you with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and 10 weeks of paid family and medical leave. Click here for more details.
    • If you have been laid off or lost your job for any reason, even if you are a gig worker or independent contractor, you can apply for Unemployment Insurance. Click here to learn more about Unemployment Benefits. Click here to apply online, or call 651-296-3644 to apply by phone.
    • If you work in Minneapolis or St. Paul, you have the right to Earned Sick and Safe Time pay. Click here for more details
    • If for any reason you do not qualify for any of these benefits, there are many other community resources available. Click here to learn more.
  • If you run a small business or are an independent contractor, and your business is impacted by COVID-19:

If you have any questions about your workplace rights, contact CTUL at 612-913-6626 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and question.



El mundo está cambiando debido a COVID-19 y los trabajos y vidas de todos se ven afectados. Hemos ganado nuevos derechos laborales en medio de la pandemia


  • Si todavía está trabajando, su empleador está legalmente obligado a proporcionarle un lugar de trabajo seguro, incluidas las protecciones de COVID-19. Pronto tendremos información en español. Por ahora, haga clic aquí para obtener información (vean la segunda página) sobre el derecho a un lugar de trabajo seguro.
  • Si ha perdido su trabajo por cualquier motivo relacionado con COVID-19, hay beneficios pagados disponibles para todos los trabajadores, que incluyen:
  • Si maneje un negocio pequeño o si es un contratista independiente, y su negocio es afectado por COVID-19:

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre sus derechos laborales, comuníquese con CTUL al 507-301-8079 y deje un mensaje con su nombre, número de teléfono y su pregunta.

Paid Sick


Know Your Rights…

(en español abajo)

As of March 18, 2020, the federal government passed a new requirement for all businesses with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide workers with emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family and medical leave, covering for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members related to COVID-19. Click here for more information.

If you need support to exercise your rights, click here and fill in your information, or call 612-332-0663.

Also, LIKE AND SHARE an image on Facebook to spread word.


Conoscan los Derechos

A partir del 18 de marzo de 2020, el gobierno federal aprobó un nuevo requisito para todas las empresas con menos de 500 empleados que deben dar a los trabajadores días enfermos pagados y días pagados familiares, que cubren las necesidades de salud del empleado o para cuidar a familiares relacionados con COVID-19. Cliquean aquí para más información.

Si quieren apoyo para ejercer los derechos, cliquean aquí y llenen su información, o llamen al 612-332-0663.

También cliquean LIKE Y COMPARTIR en Facebook para que todos sepan.