Retail cleaning crews in Twin Cities threaten another strike Monday


About 40 retail janitors from more than two dozen big-box stores across the Twin Cities are preparing to picket outside Target's store in downtown Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reports. Hundreds of workers walked off the job in February for a similar protest.

Members of the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) have called a two-day strike starting Monday unless contracted cleaning companies agree to labor contracts that allow employees to unionize.

An organizer told the newspaper contract workers who clean a dozen Target stores across the metro as well as 12 other retailers, including Home Depot, Kmart, Kohl's and Sears, plan to walk off jobs.

The janitors are employed by Diversified Maintenance, Prestige Maintenance, Carlson Building Maintenance and Eurest Services.

“We contract with vendors to do our housekeeping services. Those [with questions] should reach out to those vendors directly and ask them about it. None of these housekeepers are actually Target employees," Target spokeswoman Amy Reilly told the Star Tribune Friday. “We do meet regularly with our vendor services and the contracting teams and audit them regularly. We have very stringent ethical and business standards, and if they are not abiding by them, we take various actions. That is our routine and continues to be the case.”

In February, 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.

Last week, Anisca Floor Maintenance in Rochester signed agreements not to interfere or oppose any effort by its employees to form a union, according to CTUL's website.

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