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Thousands of Twin Cities essential workers prepare for possible strike

Twin Cities essential workers take strike vote Saturday
Twin Cities essential workers take strike vote Saturday 00:32

MINNEAPOLIS — Thousands of essential workers in the Twin Cities are prepared to strike over alleged unfair labor practices.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26 represents about 8,000 members who they say work for "various subcontractors as commercial janitors, retail janitors, security officers and more" across the metro.

SEIU says it's fighting for a fair contract, and its bargaining unit members voted in favor of authorizing a strike Saturday afternoon at Minneapolis' Edison High School.

That means bargaining committee members can now call for a strike at any time.

MORE: In new report, Minneapolis teachers union claims district's budget problems are exaggerated


Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison spoke to SEIU members at a rally held before Saturday's vote.

"I want you to know you have my support and the community's support in your fight to win what your families deserve," Ellison said.

SEIU says its members, who are mostly people of color and immigrants, are fighting for better wages, retirement security and respect.

The union says it has been bargaining for months with the other side to no avail. There is no set date for launching a strike, but SEIU set a deadline of March 2 to reach an agreement with the various employers involved in bargaining.

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