Members of SEIU Local 26 plan to strike next week

SEIU 26 Union to strike starting next Monday

The union says if a settlement isn't reached this week, all 8,000 of its members will be hitting picket lines starting next Monday.

Thousands of workers could soon walk off the job across the metro area, as members of the SEIU Local 26 just announced their strike plans.

On Monday morning, union leaders say if a settlement isn’t reached this week, all 8,000 members will be striking starting next Monday.

The union represents janitors, security workers and front desk workers from different companies and major corporations across the metro.

Bargaining is continuing this week between the union and several subcontractors, including janitorial contractors such as ABM, Marsden and Harvard; retail janitorial contractors such as Carlson, IFS, Major Metro; and security companies like Garda, American and Metro One.

“I’ve spent almost 20 years cleaning, I don’t have anything saved for my retirement and I don’t have support for my kids,” said one union member.

Union leaders say bargaining has been going on since last fall but say all of the offers fall short.

The union says it isn’t asking for much, saying all members want is living wages that keep pace with inflation, affordable health insurance and retirement.

“We’re called heroes and called essential, however, at the bargaining table those words are ringing hollow, like a bell, ding-ding. But there’s not substance there for us to take back to our families,” said another member.

GardaWorld – one of the businesses involved with bargaining- issued the following statement regarding the ongoing negotiations:

“BEST Crowd Management, A GardaWorld company, has been actively participating in negotiations with SEIU Local 26 and we’re committed to reaching a mutually beneficial agreement that addresses the needs and concerns of all parties. The Union has proposed over 100 changes to our longstanding agreement, and it takes time to negotiate these new proposals. Our goal throughout this process is to ensure that the interests of our employees and the overall success of BEST and our customers are balanced. We remain optimistic that through open and constructive negotiation, we will reach an agreement that reflects the values and goals of all.”

Spokespeople for the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul say there are no workers employed by either city who are members of that union.