Retail cleaners in Twin Cities threaten to strike

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A group of contract workers who clean Target stores and other big-box retailers in the Twin Cities metro plan to walk off their jobs this weekend if employers refuse to address unfair labor practices, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

The Centers for Workers United in Struggle, which represents about 400 Twin Cities janitors, has set a deadline for noon on Sunday, Feb. 24 for retail cleaning contractors like Diversified Maintenance Systems, Carlson Building Maintenance, and Eurest Services to open dialogue with the workers regarding the right to organize without fear of retaliation, according to a news release.

The Star Tribune notes the cleaning staff has been seeking union representation for two years.

A spokeswoman for Diversified Maintenance told MPR the company doesn't expect many of their employees will support the work stoppage.

Earlier this month, retail-cleaning workers and Florida-based Diversified Maintenance Systems reached a class action settlement for $675,000 in damages regarding unpaid overtime.

Two-dozen janitors who clean Target stores in the Twin Cities metro area also filed complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleging improper safety and training issues.

Meanwhile, members of the Service Employees International Union, which represents janitors and security officers in the Twin Cities area, also authorized a strike on Feb. 9 if a deal isn't reached.

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