Janitors take over Minneapolis skyways to protest working conditions


Trendy shoppers, latte sippers and office workers in the Minneapolis skyways saw something unusual yesterday on their lunch breaks: The folks who take out their trash, mop their floors and clean their toilets.

Janitors and other members of SEIU Local 26 marched through the skyways to express unhappiness with the lack of progress in talks between the union and cleaning contractor companies over working conditions. Hundreds participated in the march, Twin Cities IndyMedia reported.

Local 26 janitors are urging employers to adopt the "Green Cleaning" practices, which would switch janitors to working during the day, saving energy and cutting costs. They also want to use safer, non-toxic cleaning products and add more comprehensive recycling duties to janitors' work descriptions.

The union, which says it represents at least 5,000 workers, has already voted to authorize a strike: