Skip to main content

Protest for better pay, conditions shuts down roads during commute


A protest calling for better pay and working conditions for Twin Cities janitorial staff has spilled over into Thursday, blocking roads in Minneapolis during the morning commute.

The demonstration by janitors started on Wednesday, but supporters inspired by the action continued to protest on Thursday under the banner #ReclaimMN, with the Star Tribune reporting they've caused huge traffic jams on Interstate 94 and Interstate 35W.

Minneapolis police told the paper marchers have taken over 12th and 11th streets and the area of 3rd to 5th Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis, bringing traffic to a standstill.

FOX 9 reports dozens of other community members are marching in solidarity with the janitors, as well as with St. Paul teachers who staged a "walk-in" protest at schools on Wednesday, calling for better working conditions.

They have been organized by the Minnesotans for a Fair Economy group, which told the TV station they had been inspired by the janitor and teaching union protests on Wednesday.

Members of the Services Employees International Union Local 26, which represents more than 4,000 people working for firms contracted to clean Twin Cities office buildings, voted last month to authorize an “unfair labor practices” strike if employers didn’t improve the terms of a three-year contract for workers by Feb. 14.

The SEIU is asking for a $15 minimum wage and changes to workloads that union representatives say is impacting their health.

They started picketing on Wednesday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, before holding later demonstrations in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In St. Paul meanwhile, public school teachers are calling for a series of changes as they negotiate their latest contract, demanding further reductions to standardized testing, extending paid parental leave and a larger wage increase than the 0.5 percent on the table.

Next Up

Train derailment Fairmont screengrab

WATCH: Video shows terrifying moment train derails in Fairmont

A large chunk of the track appears to come off just before the derailment.


Grocery store beer sales? MN House hears nearly 30 proposals to update liquor laws

Calls to change the state's liquor laws grew louder during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Screen Shot 2021-10-28 at 7.57.25 AM

3 people found dead inside home in Farmington

Police were conducting a welfare check when they found three people dead inside the home.

Screen Shot 2021-10-28 at 7.26.58 AM

Headstones pushed over, smashed by vandals at cemetery in Alexandria

Police have released images of a vehicle they believe is connected to the case.


Puppies abandoned at Chaska golf course

It's illegal to abandon animals in Minnesota.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Post Bucks win, KAT says “I play with f****** passion”

Towns was asked how he controls his emotions on the court.

D'Angelo Russell

Wolves rebound with statement win against Bucks

D'Angelo Russell and the Timberwolves bounced back with a win over the defending champs.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 7.08.20 PM

Train carrying ethanol derails in southern Minnesota

The State Fire Marshal has sent in experts to help with the situation.


Motorcyclist dies a month after striking deer in Minnesota

The crash happened north of Mankato near the small town of Norseland.

fire pixabay stock

House explosion kills 1, severely injures another

Authorities described the home as "completely destroyed."

Kotyza-Witthuhn screengrab

Watch: MN lawmaker 'attacked' by giggling child during live hearing

This has to be the most adorable moment ever from a Commerce Finance and Policy Committee hearing, right?

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin leaving WCCO Radio for bigger role with Big Ten Network

Martin has been a staple at WCCO Radio since Election Day 2016.