Twin Cities janitors vote to authorize strike; talks resume this weekby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Twin Cities janitors are resuming talks this week after voting to authorize a strike if an agreement cannot be reached.
More than 4,000 Twin Cities janitors have been working without a contract since Jan. 8.
Union officials say more than 500 people voted nearly unanimously Saturday to give the bargaining committee the power to call a strike.
SEIU Local 26 spokesman Javier Morillo said management has agreed to meet again later this week.
"We are calling on our employers to come back to the table sooner than that if we want to get this done," Morillo said. "We should be bargaining every day this week and whether we bargain and what happens at the table will determine our next steps."
Health care is a major sticking point in the talks.
"We proposed green cleaning solutions that would actually save building owners money," Morillo said. "All of those have been rejected and instead all they have put on the table is taking away what little we have and that is not acceptable."
Two more negotiating dates are scheduled over the next two weeks.