Standing up for our health and the health of our families
The Minnesota Department of Health recently published two alarming reports about the connections between poverty and quality of health. According to the reports:
- “The growing economic inequities and the persistence of health disparities in our great state are a matter of life and death for many,” (“Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota: Report to the Legislature”, Minnesota Department of Health, February 2014, introduction letter; emphasis ours).
- “Minnesotans who live in Twin Cities zip codes with the highest median household income live an average of 8 years longer than those who live in zip codes with the lowest median household income,” (“White Paper on Income and Health,” Minnesota Department of Health, March 3, 2014, page 9)
Retail janitors who work for contracted companies to clean Target and other stores are paid well below the poverty line. Moreover, many workers in the industry face wage theft. Just last year, Diversified Maintenance Systems paid $675,000 to settle a class action lawsuit with employees who cleaned Target stores, alleging that workers had to work up to 56 hours per week without receiving their full overtime pay. This is just one of at least five federal lawsuits over the past ten years involving allegations of unpaid wages in the contracted cleaning of Target stores around the country (include link).
Workers have decided that they won’t sit idly by as these companies steal years off of their lives and off of the lives of their children by paying poverty wages.
Stand with workers:
- PLEASE NOTE CHANGE IN DATE: May 21, 2014, 1:30pm Report release. Details and location TBA.
- Date TBA, retail janitors will drive to Target Corporation’s annual shareholder meeting in Dallas, Texas to inform shareholders about the conditions workers face as they work for contracted companies cleaning Target stores.