Last Friday, cleaners with SEIU Local 26 rallied in Minneapolis during one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The march was organized as part of their fight for, in the union’s words, “jobs that support joyful families, homes we’re proud to live in, work that keeps us healthy and a clean planet for our kids.” As part of the action union cleaning worker and supporters marched to two non-union stores.
The “Black Friday” action begins what is likely to be a dynamic period of contract negotiations. The cleaners are part of over 8,000 members of SEIU Local 26 who will be negotiating new contracts this fall and winter.
Perceived to be part of an industry that is considered impossible to organize these subcontracted cleaning workers won a hard-fought union two years ago, and in just a few weeks, will open negotiations on their second contract. Despite being employed by subcontractors to clean the stores of many of Minnesota’s best-known brands, the majority of these cleaners make just $11.65 per hour.