Labor action across the nation
Twin Cities Skyscraper Window Washers strike for safety
Demanding safer jobs and better pay, Twin Cities skyscraper window washers went on strike Aug. 16 and came to a tentative agreement Thursday, Aug. 26. The contract is one of the strongest in the country for highrise window washers including an apprenticeship program, a 12% wage increase and more paid sick leave.
The strike focused on worker safety. There have been three fatalities over the past 15 years, and many of Minnesota’s 80 skyscraper window washers say they have experienced potentially deadly situations while on the job.
When not window washing, workers also clean inside buildings and continued to do so during the pandemic. At least half of the workforce contracted COVID-19.
Congratulations to these workers who are members of SEIU Local 26 on their successful negotiations.
Nabisco workers fight for better pay
Some of the nation's favorite cookies could be in short supply due to a nationwide strike. On Aug. 10, about 200 Nabisco workers represented by Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTWGM) in Portland, OR went on strike. Union workers in Aurora, CO followed on Aug. 12, Richmond, VA on Aug. 16 and Chicago, IL on Aug. 19.
Nabisco reported over $5.5 billion in profits in the first half of 2021 and the CEO made $16.8 million in 2020. The median compensation for a worker is $31,000 annually. After workers were praised as essential during the height of the pandemic, many working 12-hour shifts 6 to 7 days per week, management is now trying to cut overtime and proposing a two-tier healthcare system.
Member President, Keith Bragg was quoted as saying “It’s greed. They [management] don’t have any respect for their workers that gave them the opportunity to make that kind of money.” (The Guardian, Aug. 23).