After a 10-Day Strike, a Cleaners Union Wins a Landmark Contract With Pay Raises and Safety Reinforcements

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About 40 cleaners of high-rise windows in Minneapolis saw their demands met after 10 days of striking. Their new contract is the culmination of a yearslong fight for safer working conditions, pay raises, increased sick days and disability support, and a life-saving apprenticeship program. High-rise cleaning is a risky industry made harder and more hazardous by the lagging promises of employers before and during the pandemic. Half of the workers had contracted COVID while working during the pandemic, according to their union.

Their action was closely reported by In These Times’ Hamilton Nolan, Minnesota Reformer’s Max Nesterak, and a growing group of labor reporters who see in local action a national model for driving results. As our Mother Jones colleague Bryan Schatz wrote two years ago, “Workers strike when they see that strikes work,” an assessment borne out in recent months. Revisit his interview with veteran labor organizer Jane McAlevey in “Why the Labor Strike Is Back.” And send more recharges on labor action to recharge@motherjones.com.

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