Janitors, security guards in Twin Cities authorize strike

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Thousand of janitors and security guards who work at Twin Cities retail stores and office buildings have authorized a strike if the two sides cannot reach an agreement.

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Members of the Service Employees International Union voted Saturday to authorize a walkout. The vote does not mean a strike is certain. The two sides continue to negotiate.

SEIU Local 26 President Iris Altamirano told Minnesota Public Radio News that sick time is a key issue and that negotiators also remain far apart on wages.

Attorney John Nesse, who represents the cleaning contractors, said they're disappointed with the vote.

"We have been meeting with the union since November," Nesse said. “They have over 100 proposed changes to the contract that remain open at this point. We do expect to make significant progress in the near future.”

More bargaining sessions are scheduled in the next two weeks, Nesse said.

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