Legislation would ensure workers are paid what they earn

ST. PAULWorkers can see their wages stolen in many ways: Not receiving the minimum wage or compensation for overtime. Not receiving their final paycheck after leaving a job. Not being paid at all.Home care worker Robin Pikala was owed nearly $2,000 when her employer, Crystal Care Home Health Services, shut down last year. Retail cleaner Maria Briones was victimized twice by unscrupulous employers – to the tune of $7,000. Continue Reading

Dozens protest Uptown McDonald’s for minimum wage increase

Fast food workers, home health care workers, airport employees and dozens of supporters blocked traffic outside an Uptown McDonald’s on Dec.4, demanding a $15 minimum wage and union benefits. More than 50 protesters marched into the nearby McDonald’s where several employees walked off the job.Thursday marked two years since fast food workers first walked off the job in New York City to demand a living wage, sparking a movement across the country. Minneapolis first joined the “Fight for $15” in September, when workers went on strike for a day at several fast food locations around the city. Just last week, nearly 500 people took part in a Black Friday protest at two Walmarts in St. Paul and Minneapolis, including dozens of retail janitors who walked off the job. Continue Reading

Black Friday protests; Hands up, don’t shop

If the Storify story doesn’t appear, refresh your browser. Original story here.[<a href=”//storify.com/maryturck/hands-up-don-t-buy” target=”_blank”>View the story “Black Friday protests: Hands up, don’t shop” on Storify</a>] Continue Reading

Janitors celebrate Target win

The Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en La Lucha (CTUL) celebrated a victory June 10, as Target adopted a new policy to protect the rights of janitors who clean Target stores. The janitors work for contractors, not as direct employees of Target. Under the new Responsible Contractor Policy, Target will ensure that workers have rights to collectively bargain, to form safety committees in the workplace, and that they not be forced to work seven days a week.The Target statement said in part, “As Target enters into new service agreements with Twin Cities housekeeping service providers over the next few months, the company will include additional language in those contracts aimed at promoting positive and productive dialogue between Target vendors and their workers.”CTUL and the janitors have been organizing for four years, with actions including picketing, hunger strikes, and marches. According to Veronica Mendez, co-director of CTUL, Target’s action is the first of its kind in the retail janitorial industry. At a press conference at Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Mendez said that the sub-contracting system has distanced retail stores from responsibility and has blocked janitors from negotiating directly with the stores who actually have the power. Continue Reading

Latino community leaders discuss work and organizing

Worker’s rights and immigration reform, the role of organizers in the community, and building connections among organizations were all part of the discussion at the January 22 Organizer Roundtable. Organizers from the Latino community gathered  at St. Paul’s Rondo Library for the Latinos in Action roundtable hosted by the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability. Joan Vanhala, Coalition Organizer with the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, said “I believe there is some very dynamic organizing work and political work being done in the Latino community that needs to be highlighted more. And, also, … I found today the Latino community itself wants to come together and think big picture about their future and work together to make it happen.”Gloria Castillo, a panelist and community organizer with La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, added “I think these conversations need to keep happening, keep discussing how we can work together for a better community. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | CTUL and community organize the Festival for Justice

Cut pay, increased work load and loss of benefits are what many workers in our community are facing. On a more extreme but not uncommon level across the country, some workers experience wage theft, little attention to on-the-job safety hazards and forced labor. Labor justice is a growing movement within our communities.

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FREE SPEECH ZONE | Join The March For Worker’s Rights With CTUL

Ten years ago, Twin Cities retail cleaning workers made an average of ten to eleven dollars an hour, and most of them had full benefits. Today, most are lucky to make minimum wage, and many make less. And of course in most cases benefits are a thing of the past. CTUL (Centro de Trabjadores Unidos en Lucha), an organization by workers and for workers, has been working on a campaign to improve the lot of the Twin Cities retail cleaning workers, not just individual cases today but for all such workers in the the future. Beginning with letters asking such stores as Lund’s/Byerly’s, Target and Cub Foods to meet with us to discuss these issues (producing no results), escalating to a press conference going public with the campaign, we have continually taken this campaign to new levels. Continue Reading