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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 08:01 PM
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Low-paid workers ask retail companies to clean up their act

By A.J. MacDonald, TC Daily Planet
November 20, 2010

"I was fired for standing up for my rights," Patricia Gil, who used to work cleaning a Lunds & Byerly's grocery store, said through a translator.

The Center of Workers United in Struggle/Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha led a march through Uptown and South Minneapolis November 6 to protest human rights violations received by employees of cleaning companies that have contracts with SuperValu, Cub Foods, Lunds & Byerly's, and Target stores. CTUL said cleaning companies such as Carlson Cleaning owe workers thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime wages. They also charged that the cleaning companies lowered wages from between $10 and $11 per hour to between $7.25 and $8 per hour over the last ten years despite a nearly doubled workload. The march was part of CTUL's Justice in Retail Cleaning campaign.
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Retail chains' contracting practices create " incredibly competitive environment in which dozens of cleaning companies constantly underbid each other to gain contracts, leading to a race to the bottom in wages and working conditions," according to CTUL.

"They gave me more and more work to do everyday," Gil said through translation. "I told them no, that wasn't my job."

Carlson Cleaning, the company contracted to provide cleaners for SuperValu and Cub Foods, eliminated previously offered benefits like paid vacations, and has charged workers for uniforms, nametags, and paychecks they did not receive by mail, according to CTUL.

National Maintenance and Paquette Maintenance are commonly contracted by Lunds & Byerly's stores, and Prestige Maintenance is commonly contracted by Target stores. The CTUL website has links to newspaper articles and government documents showing prior investigations of all three companies for various violations of worker rights, including unpaid overtime and unpaid wages.

FULL story at link & this: Day of Action in Solidarity with Retail Cleaning Workers

On November 24, Justice in Retail Cleaning advocates will ask Cub Foods customers what they think of the human rights violations endured by the store's cleaning workers. Liz Loeb of Workers Interfaith Network, at, and CTUL's website can also provide more information about the Day of Action.

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