OSHA Upholds ‘Serious Violations’ Regarding Dangerous Working Conditions Brought Forward By Retail Cleaners Employed by Carlson Building Maintenance
Violations indicating health and safety concerns found in Target stores all across the Twin Cities
Minneapolis (July 8, 2013) —Retail cleaning workers have received word that 8 cases of “serious violations” brought forward earlier this year were all confirmed valid by the Minnesota Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) after the employer, Carlson Building Maintenance, withdrew their notice of contest.
According to OSHA, “a serious violation shall be deemed to exist in a place of employment if there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a conditions which exists.” The workers who brought forward the issues work for Carlson to clean Target stores in West St. Paul, Shakopee, Oakdale, Fridley, Crystal, Woodbury, Bloomington and Coon Rapids. Workers filed charges as members of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL), a workers center based in the Twin Cities.
“I have worked for Carlson for almost a year, and I had never gotten a safety training, until recently after we filed OSHA complaints. Why would it take OSHA finding serious violations of health and safety standards for us to be able to be safe in our workplace?” Maricela Flores, CTUL member and employee of Carlson Building Maintenance.
The workers went on a one-day Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) strike in February and a larger, two-day ULP strike in June to ensure their right to organize without fear of retaliation, joining a nationwide movement of low-wage workers taking similar actions in Seattle, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, New York City and Milwaukee. The group also sent workers to the Target shareholder meeting in Denver on June12 to raise awareness about the conditions of sub-contracted employees.
Workers and allies will be coming together again on July 24 to draw attention to their low pay and poor working conditions.
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL)
CTUL is a low-wage worker led organization based in the Twin Cities that is organizing for fair wages, fair working conditions, and a voice in the workplace for all workers.