Janitors and security officers on their fight for workplace dignity


They guard and clean the buildings at many of Minnesota’s most successful companies; yet, security officers and janitors have been forced into a protracted fight for fair wages and benefits.

“Despite months of bargaining, employers continue giving workers the runaround, bargaining in bad faith by refusing to show up to negotiations and offering proposals full of cuts. 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,” according to a press release from SEIU Local 26, the union representing these workers. Wages near the poverty line means the average full-time janitor qualifies for public assistance and health benefits.

Recently, workers voted to authorize their bargaining committees to call for a strike if necessary, which would put 6,000 security officers in the metro area on the picket line.

Minnesota 2020 recently talked with some of the workers about what a fair contract means to them.