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Janitors demonstrate for a fair contract settlement

December 31, 2009
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MINNEAPOLIS — Hundreds of janitors represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26 held demonstrations in downtown Minneapolis skyways to demand a fair settlement with service contractors, according to Workday Minnesota.
According to the story, the marchers chanted "Yes we can!" in several languages and "What do we want? Green jobs!" as they walked past offices and restaurants during the busy lunch hour.
It is alleged that the janitors are facing concessionary demands from their employers, including: Having the right to convert many full-time jobs to part-time; the right to eliminate workload protections; and the right to deny union representatives access to worksites, the story stated.
SEIU Local 26 President Javier Morillo Alicea said: "We are willing and open and, in fact, eager to put innovations at the table that would lead to cost reductions, that would be a win for companies, workers and building owners. We''re not asking for the moon — but we''re not going backwards."
The janitors are seeking improvements to working conditions that include more day shifts — to reduce lighting and heating costs and to allow employees to be with their families — and the use of safer equipment and chemicals, the story noted.
The current contract was slated to expire December 31, but has been extended to January 8 while bargaining sessions continue, the story added.

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