Twin Cities security officers call one-day strike today

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Security officers who protect downtown office buildings have called a strike for today, Monday, Feb. 25, of the three largest security contractors in the area – Securitas, American, and ABM – to attain affordable health care, their union said.

The walkout was called after security companies walked out of negotiations on Saturday night without addressing affordable health insurance for security officers and their families, Service Employees International Union Local 26 said.

“The strike called by the security officers is in protest of unfair labor practices committed by their employers, and will be a one-day strike – with multiple rallies of hundreds of striking workers and community allies – in order to highlight the need for affordable health care for all Minnesotans, and the lack of action by security contractors on this key issue,” the union said.

Local 26 said support rallies will be held:

– 9 a.m. at Cedar Street & Sixth Street East, Saint Paul

– 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Eighth Street & Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis

– 6 p.m. at 7th Street & 3rd Avenue South, Minneapolis. The 6 p.m. event also will be a candlelight vigil sponsored by the Workers Interfaith Network.

“No one ever wants to have to go on strike, but we have been given no other choice,” said Donna Alexander, a security officer for Securitas in Minneapolis and a member of the union bargaining committee. “We have to stand up now for what’s right for us and right for our community – affordable health care for our families and for all Minnesotans.”

Security officers voted Feb. 9 to authorize their bargaining committee to call a strike over unfair labor practices. About 750 officers, who have been bargaining for a new contract for several months, have been working without a contract since Jan. 1.

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