Low-wage Workers Chalk Up Another Victory as CTUL Members Win Union
For the past decade, workers in fast food, retail and other low-wage industries have been pushing back against the notion they are condemned to jobs with lousy pay, no benefits and poor working conditions.
In several communities, they have successfully organized for a $15 minimum wage and paid safe and sick time. On Thursday, they marked another victory, as workers who clean Target, Best Buy, Macy’s and other stores announced they have gained union representation.
The win comes after six years of rallies, lawsuits and strikes – and equally determined opposition from management. In the process, workers pressured large retailers like Target Corporation to agree to responsible contracting policies.
This week came the final step – winning the right to a voice on the job through Service Employees International Union Local 26.(link is external) The victory makes the Twin Cities the first major metropolitan area in the country where the retail janitorial industry will be union.
“We’re happy and we’re proud that we’ve changed the industry,” said Maricela Flores, a retail janitor who spent countless hours in recent years organizing through a Twin Cities-based worker center, CTUL(link is external)(Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha/Center of Workers United in Struggle).