Low-paid workers ask retail companies to clean up their act

UPDATED 11/22/2010—”I was fired for standing up for my rights,” Patricia Gil, who used to work cleaning a Lunds & Byerly’s grocery store, said through a translator. The Center of Workers United in Struggle/Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) led a march through Uptown and South Minneapolis November 6 to protest human rights violations received by employees of cleaning companies that have contracts with SuperValu, Cub Foods, Lunds & Byerly’s, and Target stores. According to Veronica Mendez of CTUL, “Cleaning companies have been ordered to pay thousands of dollars in back wages for unpaid overtime by either the U.S. Department of Labor or federal courts. For example, Prestige Maintenance, which cleans Target, was ordered by federal court in Maryland to pay $3.8 million in back wages.” CTUL also charged that the cleaning companies lowered wages from between $10 and $11 per hour to between $7.25 and $8 per hour over the last ten years despite a nearly doubled workload.  The march was part of CTUL’s Justice in Retail Cleaning campaign. Continue Reading

Sweeping changes, some closures ahead for St. Paul parks and recreation centers

A draft of the St. Paul Parks and Recreation System Plan, proposing sweeping changes to parks, buildings, and other recreational facilities across the city, sparked discussion at the first of five public meetings, held November 3 at the Hillcrest Recreation Center.  The proposed closing of the Duluth and Case Recreation Center, located at 1020 Duluth St. in East St. Paul, and added dog parks were attendees’ main concerns. 

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