Commercial Janitors With SEIU Local 26 Unanimously Vote to Approve New Contract

Minneapolis – Janitors with SEIU Local 26 unanimously approved the tentative agreement for a new contract that will cover 4,000 commercial janitors in the Twin Cities. Voting was held throughout the day Saturday at the Union office. 
 
L26_TA_Vote_20200314_rsSEIU Local 26 President Iris Altamirano shared the excitement over the vote and the need for employers who still have open contracts to finalize deals so everyone can focus on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
“I am so happy the 4,000 janitors will immediately begin seeing the gains from this strong contract that was just ratified. Workers went on strike once and were ready to go again in the fight for what is right. Now they have wage increases, more paid sick days, green training programs and other protections,” said Altamirano. “Now we need other employers to stop stalling and reach agreements with retail janitors and airport service workers. Contractors like Prospect – who employee hundreds of passenger service workers at MSP Airport – need to stop playing games and reach agreements so workers can concentrate on keeping our airport and buildings safe. The people who have been on the front lines of making our economy boom for the last five years need to be protected as we deal with this crisis.”
 
The bargaining team for the union reached an agreement in the early hours of March 7th after four months of negotiations. The final agreement came after a marathon 22-hour bargaining session that started at 9 a.m. on Friday the 6th and ended at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday the 7th. The janitors had gone on a 24-hour strike one week before the agreement, and were set to go on an open-ended strike if the agreement hadn’t been reached.
 
The contract won:
  • wage increases of $2.20 over the course of the contract for full time workers, with some part time workers going from $11.12 to $16 over the life of the contract
  • moving all full-time workers to six paid sick days by the second year of the contract
  • funding towards a Labor-Management Cooperation Fund that will work towards a green education initiative
  • reducing cost of health insurance for individuals and families
  • incorporating sexual harassment policies into contract

The 4,000 commercial janitors join the 2,000 security officers who also won a strong contract in February. That means 6,000 of the 8,000 SEIU Local 26 members have now settled their contracts, leaving retail janitors & airport passenger service workers as the two biggest groups still working to reach deals. At the airport, two of the three main contractors have reached agreement, leaving only Prospect who is holding out on giving a new contract to the workers on the front line of keeping our airports safe and running.

The janitorial workers are employed by over a dozen different subcontractors like ABM & Marsden to clean the MSP Airport along with corporate office buildings like IDS, Capella Tower, EcoLab, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, United Health Group, Ameriprise and many more across the Twin Cities.

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