ST. PAUL, MN — Twin Cities janitors involved in ongoing contract disputes with area cleaning companies have reached out to building owners and managers, who insist on staying uninvolved, according to Finance & Commerce.
According to the story, over 4,000 janitors have been working without a contract since January 8, and while some negotiations between the Service Employees International Union
(SEIU) Local 26
and cleaning companies have had progress — Marsden Building Maintenance
janitors removed a strike authorization last week — others are looking for additional help from building owners.
Most recently, the union demonstrated at a Minnesota Bankers Association
meeting in an effort to encourage bankers — the most common occupants of the downtown buildings cleaned by the janitors — to reach out to cleaning companies regarding contract negotiation, the story stated.
Peter Rachleff, a labor historian at Macalester College in St. Paul, said: "The union''s goal is to make the building owners participants in the contract negotiations and gain community support. So, this focus on the banks enables them to do both."
However, the Greater St. Paul Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) — which earlier this month publicly disagreed with the St. Paul City Council''s passing of a resolution in support of the union — has said they will not become involved with contract negotiations between the janitors'' union and cleaning companies, the story noted.
St. Paul BOMA President Matt Anfang said: "We are not looking to get involved in the negotiations. It is no more the place of the city to get involved in the negotiations as it is for BOMA to get involved in the negotiations."
A spokesperson for the cleaning companies'' association said they plan to continue negotiations in good faith, the story added.