Working people across the Twin Cities are taking action in a week of action to Unlock Our Future in Minnesota. The week brings together Minnesotans all working together to strengthen the middle class.
The week kicked off with a huge victory, as 4,000 office janitors in SEIU Local 26 won a tentative agreement on a great new contract that would see improvements in healthcare, pay and sick days.
Middle class Minnesotans and a large number of groups including Local 26, CTUL, Take Action MN, Isaiah, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, and Occupy Homes will engage in a series of events to re-build the middle class in the state, including action against foreclosures, for fair hiring practices at Target, for a state budget to re-build the middle class and for rights at work for retail janitors and a good union contract for 2,000 security officers.
Today (Tuesday), contracted retail janitors who clean at Target undertook the largest ever contracted retail janitors' strike. The workers are not members of a union, but are organized by the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha.
The contracted janitors who clean at Target often work seven days a week, at $7.25 an hour, with no real benefits. They recently won a settlement to get back $675,000 in wages taken from them by their employers. But they have faced retaliation by their bosses for standing up for good jobs and they have been threatened with firing for going on strike.
Meanwhile, 2,000 security officers from SEIU Local 26 are preparing to strike after their employers walked out on bargaining.
Other highlights of the week so far include:
- 10 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints brought against Target by the NAACP for employment discrimination.
- US bank/Wells Fargo street protest with 200 people
- Clergy presented a letter to lawmakers at the Capitol, calling for increased revenues to provide a budget to re-build the middle class by investing in education, healthcare and transit.
- 200 people attended a direct action training to learn how to stand up in the streets to attacks on our communities from the 1%.