SEIU 26 and La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles and allies will rally outside of a Wells Fargo located at 2218 E Lake St and deactivate accounts en masse. Following that, they will be joined by Representative Keith Ellison (D-CD5) for a forum at the corner of Lake St. and 14th Ave. S. to discuss immigration reform.
Minneapolis, MN – After two months without a contract, hundreds of hours of negotiations, and a one-day strike, today SEIU Local 26 janitors and security officers voted to approve new contracts which will help strengthen the middle class in the Twin Cities.
“This is a major victory for working families,” said Margarita Del Angel Lopez, a janitor who works at the IDS Center in Minneapolis. “We work hard to support our families, we fought hard against cuts that would have destroyed thousands of jobs. This shows that when we stand together, we can move forward together. These are the best contracts in the history of the local service sector industry.”
“Suburban security officers have been working for years without a raise,” said Fred Anthony II, a security officer from St Paul. “Some of them haven’t had a raise in up to eight or 10 years. This is the first time they have guaranteed contracts, guaranteed health care, guaranteed job security. It helps bring them out of poverty.”
More than 6,000 janitors and security officers won $1.20 raises over three years, which will pump $48 million into local communities. They also protected stable, full-time positions for thousands of workers. In addition, janitors and security officers secured better employer-based healthcare coverage, which will enable workers to access affordable coverage, rather than be forced to rely on public programs paid for by taxpayers.
This marks the first contract for 1,000 suburban security officers who formed their union with SEIU Local 26 in January 2011 – in addition to getting raises for the first time in years, they gained employer-based healthcare coverage for the first time ever.
“So often, we see the rich get richer, while the rest of us continue falling behind,” said Javier Morillo, President of SEIU Local 26. “Seeing working people win is a very important thing. It’s a beautiful thing. And so congratulations to all of our members who worked hard for this win. Together, we are working toward a better future for all of Minnesota, where people who work for a living are able to make a living. We showed that the labor movement is alive and well in Minnesota.”
SEIU Local 26 janitors reached a tentative agreement last (more…)
Minneapolis, MN – Twin Cities security officers are celebrating today after reaching a tentative agreement with all of their employers that strengthens the middle class through stable, full-time jobs. The major victory came late Thursday, when the remaining six subcontractors finally came to a tentative agreement with 2,000 security officers.
“We are exhausted, but elated,” said Elena Krelberg, Local 26 security officer. “We won because we all stood together. Standing shoulder to shoulder with our community, security officers and janitors together won the best contracts in the history (more…)
Minneapolis, MN — After a one-day strike that involved hundreds of SEIU Local 26 security officers and an agreement with one locally based contractor, a federal mediator has confirmed to Local 26 that six remaining contractors are headed back to the bargaining table this morning. Today workers participated in a one-day strike over unfair labor practices after six of their seven subcontractors failed to reach an agreement to jointly create stable, full-time jobs. SEIU Local 26 security officers called on their employers to come back and negotiate until they can reach a fair contract – or face additional, larger strikes.
“It’s not easy to give up a day’s pay,” said Kevin Chavis, a security officer subcontracted by Allied Barton for Wells Fargo Center. “But it’s a sacrifice we must make to show our bosses that we are serious about getting a fair contract. We all deserve fair wages and affordable health care for our families. If they aren’t willing to offer the same fair and equitable conditions, they need to know that our strength will continue to grow if we must face an additional strike.”
Chavis is a military veteran and has one son. He joined hundreds of security officers who picketed locations throughout the Twin Cities. The largest picket happened at Wells Fargo Center, where Chavis works. At one point, more than 150 workers and their allies marched in front of the building, calling for Wells Fargo and other corporate elite like U.S. Bank and Target, to stand up as leaders in the state.
“The CEO of Wells Fargo could make one call and settle this contract,” said Demetruis Moore, a security officer with AlliedBarton. “He holds the power, just like all the CEOs of these companies do, to tell the companies they contract to help create good jobs, not destroy them.”
Security officers picketed buildings from six of their seven employers – G4S, AlliedBarton, Securitas, Viking Security, ABM Security, Whelan – who have all failed to reach an agreement with workers. They will head back to the bargaining table with Local 26 security officers Thursday morning.
Security officers did not picket the properties subcontracted to American Security, which is locally owned. The St. Paul-based company came to a tentative agreement with workers early this morning around 4:00 a.m. after more than 14 hours of emergency bargaining. It is the largest security contractor in the Twin Cities, employing approximately 700 of the 2,000 workers.
“Security officers with locally owned American were able to win a deal which matched the standards Local 26 janitors were able to win this past weekend,” said Chavis. “American Security took this step to strengthen the middle class, the janitorial subcontractors were able to take this step, why can’t the rest of the security subcontractors do the same? Wells Fargo needs to demand its subcontractors treat workers fairly, just as others have done.”
More than 4,000 Local 26 janitors reached a tentative agreement last weekend after 31 consecutive hours of negotiations. They will vote to ratify the contract on Saturday.
Today at 1:00 p.m., SEIU Local 26 security officers will join an alliance of labor unions, faith-based organizations and community groups to learn how to protect the middle class by training for non-violent direct action and preparing for a strike against their employers over unfair labor practices.
The security officers are preparing to strike this week after negotiations with contractors ended without (more…)
Minneapolis, MN – On Sunday, February 24 at 1:00 p.m., SEIU Local 26 security officers will join an alliance of labor unions, faith-based organizations and community groups to learn how to protect the middle class by training for non-violent direct action and preparing for a strike against their employers over unfair labor practices.
The security officers are preparing to strike this week after negotiations with contractors ended without a contract Friday afternoon. The security officers had announced a Sunday deadline for employers to offer a fair proposal, including fair wages, access to healthcare and stable, full-time jobs—the jobs that the Twin Cities needs in order to reignite our economy. But contractors walked away from the table Friday afternoon without reaching a new agreement with workers.
Sunday they will join an alliance of labor unions, faith-based organizations and community groups who are also ready to take action as part of its Unlock our Future campaign to address economic and racial justice issues that are weakening our middle class.
The groups together represent tens of thousands of Minnesotans who have asked Minnesota’s most celebrated corporations – including U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and Target – to unlock Minnesota’s future and help solve the crises that have contribute to the collapse of our economy.
SEIU Local 26 security officers join “Unlock our Future” members to learn how to protect the middle class through non-violent direct action and plan for a strike
Sunday, February 24
Minneapolis South High School
3131 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55407
SEIU Local 26, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, ISAIAH, CTUL, TakeAction Minnesota, SEIU Local 284, Occupy Homes, Macalester Kick Wells Fargo Off Campus, MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, concerned Minnesota citizens
Minneapolis, MN – This afternoon negotiations with contractors for SEIU Local 26 security officers ended without a contract, despite a Sunday deadline from workers to strike.
“It’s beyond frustrating that these companies aren’t serious about negotiating a new contract,” said Fred Anthony II, a security officer who works at EcoLab in downtown St. Paul. “They walk away, saying they aren’t willing to meet again until mid-March. They can’t be serious if they’re only willing to meet once a month. We can’t keep dragging this out. We made it clear we would stay here as late as we needed, but they’ve just walked away.”
Without a new contract, security officers will go on strike as early as Monday.
Negotiations continue, however, for janitors, who are prepared to stay the whole night to win a new contract. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Contract Cleaners Association has said they’re willing to stay as late as it takes to negotiate a new contract before the Sunday deadline workers set. SEIU Local 26 janitors have said they will also go on strike as early as Monday if they do not win a new contract by Sunday.
“We have to do whatever it takes to win a fair contract,” said Brahim Kone, a janitor at Flint Hills Refinery. “Our lives and our families are at stake. We want to create and expand jobs to grow the middle class. We want to be able to support our families. To do that, we can’t accept the cuts our employers have proposed. We must win a contract that helps move us all forward.”
A new contract would represent the first important victory in a planned “Unlock Our Future” week of action being coordinated by an alliance of labor unions, faith-based organizations and community groups.
Just this week the groups sent a joint letter to the heads of U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and Target urging the corporations to do their part to resolve the crisis impacting Minnesota’s middle class—immediately. They set a deadline for Sunday, February 24 at noon.
SEIU Local 26 workers going on strike will join members of these organizations Sunday at 1:00 p.m. to start planning for their strike.
“There’s a lot at stake,” said Javier Morillo, president of SEIU Local 26. “For the more than 6,000 workers affected by these contracts, this is about stable, full-time jobs, about being able to provide for their families without public assistance. The corporate elite – U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and Target – are all enjoying success, and it’s time for the workers to succeed too.”
Separate contracts for janitors and security officers expired simultaneously on December 31 – since then, more than 6,000 workers throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan have been working without a contract. Janitors and security officers work side-by-side, cleaning and protecting property for contractors at some of Minnesota’s richest corporations.
Minneapolis, MN – Today bargaining committees representing SEIU Local 26 janitors and security officers head back to the table with their employers in a last-ditch effort to negotiate a fair contract that would improve 6,000 jobs in the Twin Cities. The workers voted to approve a strike earlier this month, and just this week announced Sunday as the deadline to win new contracts before going on strike.
“We’re ready and willing to negotiate,” said Alfredo Estrada, a janitor at the Minnesota Center. “We’ll be here as late as it takes to negotiate a fair contract. We have sleeping bags and pillows and we’re ready to talk through the night to make sure that hard work gets rewarded in Minnesota again.”
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Contract Cleaners Association have told Local 26 they are also prepared to stay as late as it takes. Initial proposals from the janitorial employers included cutting more than 1,200 full-time positions, which would eliminate employer-based insurance benefits and outsource employers’ healthcare costs to Minnesota taxpayers—without the consent or knowledge of the public.
“Employers need to take their responsibility seriously,” said Brahim Kone, a janitor at Flint Hills refinery. “We look forward to finding an agreement that allows us to work our way into the middle class and move the entire community forward.”
Security employers, however, have said they will only negotiate until 4:00 p.m.
“The employers have offered nothing but cuts – cuts to wages, cuts to full-time positions, cuts to healthcare benefits. It feels like yet another attack on the middle class,” said Paul Keith, a security officer who works at the Retek building downtown.
“They want to move us backward, destroying and eliminating jobs for the middle class. And to make it worse, they don’t seem committed to negotiating a new contract. After today, they aren’t willing to meet again for bargaining until mid-March. One or two days a month is all they are willing to give us. We set a deadline because we need to show them that we can’t let this continue dragging out.”
A new contract would represent the first important victory in a planned “Unlock Our Future” week of action being coordinated by members of Minnesota community, student, environmental, and labor groups.
Just this week these groups–including ISAIAH, TakeAction Minnesota, MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, CTUL (Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en La Lucha, a Minneapolis workers’ center), SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, and SEIU Local 284—sent a joint letter to the heads of U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and Target urging the corporations to do their part to resolve the crisis impacting Minnesota’s middle class—immediately.
Barring substantial action on improving housing, state revenue, banking practices, schools and jobs by Sunday, February 24 at noon, members of these organizations are vowing direct, dramatic, citizen action beginning Monday.
“There’s a lot at stake today,” said Javier Morillo, president of SEIU Local 26. “For the more than 6,000 workers affected by these contracts, this is about stable, full-time jobs, about being able to provide for their families without public assistance. The corporate elite – U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and Target – are all enjoying success, and it’s time for the workers—the profit providers—to succeed too.”
Separate contracts for janitors and security officers expired simultaneously on December 31 – since then, more than 6,000 workers throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan have been working without a contract. Janitors and security officers work side-by-side, cleaning and protect property for contractors at some of Minnesota’s richest corporations.
“We’ve made it clear that if we don’t have a contract coming out of these negotiations, we’re hitting the streets,” said Fred Anthony II, a security officer who works at the EcoLab building in downtown St. Paul. “It’s time for these companies to show some leadership and help solve the crises in our communities to unlock our future. Let’s be partners for progress. Let’s put the interest of the community first. We’re ready and willing to bargain – let’s get this done today.”