Non-union janitors who clean Target stores in Minnesota say they’ll go on strike unless their employers agree by noon on Sunday to meet and discuss alleged crimes.

The workers are employed by three janitorial contractors—Prestige Maintenance USA, Diversified Maintenance Systems and Carlson Building Maintenance—and work inside Target facilities in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The strike threat follows a series of OSHA charges alleging that employees of those companies were denied proper safety training and locked inside of Target stores, and National Labor Relations Board charges alleging that they were retaliated against for organizing. The charges and the strike threat were spearheaded by the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), a Twin Cities labor group that, as The Nation reported, has been organizing retail cleaning workers for two years.

“I guess I’d say I’m not scared,” Diversified employee and CTUL activist Alejandro Quirino told The Nation (in Spanish). “Because I’m fed up and sick and tired of how they’ve treated us, and how our demands have been ignored. And that’s why I’m going to go on strike. If I get fired, I know I was fighting for what’s right, and putting in what I could to fight for what’s fair.”

CTUL is demanding that contractors meet to discuss the alleged safety and labor law violations, which it says include the firing of two workers less than a week after one of them had appeared in a campaign video. “Management told one of my co-workers that if a worker tries to strike or organize with their co-workers, they’ll be fired,” said Quirino.

CTUL’s deadline is the same day as the strike deadline set by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members who clean commercial offices in the Twin Cities, including Target’s headquarters. CTUL and SEIU have been collaborating in recent months and hope to eventually win formal union recognition and collective bargaining for CTUL members (the workers would become members of SEIU, while remaining members of CTUL, one of the country’s hundreds of alternative labor groups). That means the unionized commercial building janitors and their non-union retail counterparts could soon be on strike together.

Full article courtesy of The Nation

 

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Target is one of the world’s most successful retailers and many Canadians are excited about shopping in new store locations that offer a weekly ad, coupons, regular store hours and the company’s popular redcard.

Target will soon be hiring in Canada and that is a good thing. But Target can be an even stronger force in our community by giving Zellers workers the respect they deserve. With your help, Target can be a leader in creating better, fairer jobs that benefit our communities today and well into the future.

This website is operated and maintained by UFCW Canada. This is not a Zellers or Target website, but features current Zellers workers who have all volunteered to tell their stories and share their opinions. UFCW Canada is a not-for-profit worker organization dedicated to social justice and creating better living standards for its membership and all working families.