Union janitors call for wage increases, retirement security during negotiations with local companies
A union representing thousands of janitors with SEIU Local 26 says companies must step up after a tentative agreement helped other workers win a pension for the first time, along with record wage increases.
The union adds that this historic agreement for workers with Minneapolis Block By Block, a hospitality and cleaning provider that serves downtown, is in contrast to other company negotiations in the metro area.
The contract for 4,000 janitors represented by SEIU Local 26 expired on Dec. 31, 2023.
The janitors, who union officials say are majority people of color and immigrants, work for companies like ABM, Marsden, and Harvard to clean buildings across the metro, including skyscrapers.
Union leaders say that those employing the janitors “have so far only proposed moving backwards,” and that “the employers for the 4,000 janitors need to step up in a similar way to respect, protect, and pay their essential workers.”
Minneapolis-St. Paul Contract Cleaners Association, the group of employers engaged in negotiations with SEIU Local 26, sent the following statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS:
We have been negotiating in good faith with the union since November and have six additional meetings scheduled with the union through January. We are committed to reaching an agreement that represents mutual best interest of workers, employers and the customers we all serve.