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Security officers go on strike in Twin Cities

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Roughly 2,000 security officers in the Twin Cities have launched a one-day strike against contractors that serve several major corporations, including Target, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, the Star Tribune reports.

The officers are members of the Service Employees International Union Local 26 -- which called the strike early Wednesday morning after negotiations on wages, health care and job safety broke down with six subcontractors. They have been working without a contract since Dec. 31.

Minnesota Public Radio says the union struck a deal with St. Paul-based American Security, the largest of seven service providers.

“Going on strike is a huge sacrifice – none of us want to do this,” Kevin Chavis, a security officer subcontracted by AlliedBarton for Wells Fargo Center, said in a statement. “But it feels like if we don’t act, there’s not going to be any middle class left. All Minnesotans need fair wages and affordable health care for our families. As a Minnesota company, American Security was able to step up and take care of Minnesotans – the others should follow their lead.”

The other six employers facing the strike include G4S, Allied Barton, Securitas, Viking Security, ABM Security and Whelan.

Wednesday's work stoppage comes a day after non-unionized retail store cleaners held a one-day strike in downtown Minneapolis.

About 4,000 janitors with Local 26 struck a tentative contract agreement last weekend.

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