Update: March 1
The union representing Twin Cities security officers said today it has reached a tentative settlement with the workers’ employers following a one-day strike this week.
The union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26, said the tentative accord came late Thursday with six security firm contractors who together use the services of about 2,000 security officers.
SEIU Local 26 security officers waged their one-day strike on Wednesday, then won the tentative contract after their bargaining committee conducted marathon negotiations on Thursday, the union said. The union said the security officers’ contract contains many of the same provisions as those gained by 4,000 SEIU Local 26 janitors in their contract settlement last weekend.
The contract is a first for 1,000 suburban security officers, who joined Local 26 two years ago, according to the union.
The workers contract includes, among other things, protection for full-time jobs, wage increases over three years and improvements in health care.
Local 26 janitors and security officers work in more than a dozen Twin Cities communities including Burnsville, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Edina, Fridley, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Mendota Heights, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Roseville, St. Louis Park and Woodbury.
Original story: Feb. 10
More than 500 Twin Cities-area union janitors and security officers voted unanimously Saturday to give their bargaining committees strike authorization in the slow-moving labor negotiations.
Saturday’s vote means that the janitors’ and security officers’ bargaining committees representing more than 6,000 janitors throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul and the suburbs could call for a strike at any time, according to the workers' union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26.
SEIU representatives said they been bargaining for months for new contracts and that the groups have been working since Dec. 31 without new contracts. The union said that management is proposing cuts in full-time positions, wages and health care benefits.
“If my job was cut to part-time, it would be like suicide,” Brahim Kone, a janitor at Flint Hills refinery, said in an union press statement. “I make just enough money now to pay the bills for my wife and my two children. I fear if my wages were cut, I would lose my home. ”
The union said security contractors have proposed moving hundreds of positions to part-time, eliminating all benefits and access to health care. Janitorial contractors are proposing cuts to more than 50 percent of janitors, with cuts as high as 40 percent for many members. "For many workers, health coverage for their family would cost around $700 a month," the union said in a press statement Saturday.
Joining the Local 26 members for their strike vote was U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, as well as dozens of community allies, the union said.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Contract Cleaners Association was not immediately available for comment.
David Duddleston, a Minneapolis attorney representing the security contractors, issued this statement on behalf of his clients:
"The contractors employing the security officers are bargaining in good faith. Both sides are scheduled to meet with one another twice next week and have other scheduled meetings after that. The contractors will continue, as they believe the union will also continue, to make further progress toward reaching a collective bargaining agreement."
The workers' votes to authorize strikes, if necessary, are ultimately likely to push the parties to sit down at the negotiations table and hammer out new agreements. For example, three years ago, Local 26 janitors gave the union strike authorization but they were able to avert a work stoppage and reached a settlement with management.
Still, if a strike were to occur this time, a labor stoppage would affect commercial office buildings at hundreds of locations across the Twin Cities, from Apple Valley and Burnsville to Stillwater and Woodbury.
A media representative for Local 26 said the union has janitors and security officers working at these buildings across the metro:
Apple Valley – Anchor Bank, Dakota County West Service Center
Burnsville – Gateway Office Plaza, Park Nicollet Clinic
Eagan – Thomson Reuters, TCA National Headquarters, Ecolab, Blue Cross – Yankee place and Waterview, plus corporate
Eden Prairie – United Healthcare Optum Health Buildings, GE Capital, Crosstown Centre, First Western Bank and Trust, Prairie Lutheran Church, Hennepin County Library
Edina – Southdale Office Centre and mall, Galleria, Minnesota Center, Fairview Southdale Hospital, Edina Corporate Center, One Corporate Center/Plaza, US Bank, Wells Fargo
Fridley – Medtronic HQ, Target Dist. Center
Golden Valley – General Mills HQ, Target Financial, KARE-11 TV, Wells Fargo Golden Valley
Hopkins – Cargill
Lakeville – Cedar Ave Prof Building
Maple Grove – Arbor Lakes, Wells Fargo Maplewood,
Mendota Heights –Mendota Office Center
Minneapolis – More than 200 locations in the city with the most workers concentrated at US Bank, Wells Fargo and Target.
Minnetonka – Cargill, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics
Plymouth – Plymouth Corporate Center, US Bank
Roseville – Rosedale Corporate Plaza,Rosedale Shopping Center. Roseville Corporate Center, MN Dept of Education, Symantec – Centre Pointe Business Park, MN Dot – Metro District, Rosedale Corporate Plaza, Roseville West Office, Symantec, Windsor Office Plaza, Roseville Professional Center,
Rosedale Towers, Twin Lakes Medical, Centre Pointe Business Park, Rosewood Office Plaza, Sebesta Blomberg, Roseridge Office Plaza, Northstar Bank – Roseville, Fed Ex, Roseville Area High School, Seimens Building Technologies, Ramsey County Library – Roseville, Industrial Fabrics Assn Intl, Children’s Center Pointe Admin Building
St. Louis Park – Metropoint buildings
Stillwater – 3M, Stillwater High School
Woodbury – Woodbury Lakes Shoping Center, Office Place, Medtronic, Target Direct