Written by Cody Oesterreich, a staff member at CTUL
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL; Center of Workers United in Struggle) is part of the Interfaith Worker Justice Network and organizes with low-wage workers to fight for better wages and working conditions within different low-wage, mostly service, industries. Workers come to CTUL seeking support when facing workplace injustices. CTUL partners with these workers to organize campaigns to address the issues they face.
CTUL is currently leading the Campaign for Justice in Retail Cleaning, a campaign led by workers who clean major retail stores including Sears, Target, and Kmart, with the goal of gaining fair wages and working conditions, and a voice on the job for all workers who clean stores in the Twin Cities metro area. Already, many workers have won a 10% wage increase- the first raise that many workers have seen after over a decade of declining wages.
CTUL is leading the Campaign for Justice in Retail Cleaning in which retail cleaning workers are organizing with CTUL to establish institutional changes in the retail cleaning industry. Currently, workers in this industry earn wages well below the poverty line, and many workers have reported not being paid all wages they are owed. The goal of this campaign is to organize the retail cleaning industry so that workers can be represented by a union and gain improved wages, working conditions, and a voice in the workplace.
Through the Campaign for Justice in Retail Cleaning, as well as other campaigns, workers have successfully recovered of $550, 000 in unpaid wages and damages over the past five years, and have persuaded 15 companies to change corporate policies, gaining workplace improvements for over $1,600 low-wage workers.
Currently CTUL is organizing an action that will take place on September 29th in front of the Kmart store in South Minneapolis to bring to light the injustices that workers employed by Diversified Maintenance Systems face while cleaning Kmart, Sears, Target, Best Buy and other stores. CTUL, workers, allies and local and national organizers and community members will be protesting against Diversified in front of the K-mart Store.
United we are stronger!
For more information about the Campaign for Justice in Retail Cleaning, check out the CTUL website