Members of a union that represents janitors and security officers in the Twin Cities area voted Saturday to authorize a strike, Minnesota Public Radio reports.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) represents more 6,000 janitorial and service employees in the seven-county metro area, who work at companies like Target, Ecolab, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.
SEIU Local 26‘s contract expired Dec. 31.
The vote to authorize the strike doesn’t mean a work stoppage is imminent, the Pioneer Press reports.
According a union spokeswoman, the vote sends more of a message that members are telling the bargaining committee, ”‘At a moment’s notice, if we need to strike, we will.’”
The two sides met at the bargaining table last month, but to no avail. At dispute are proposed cuts to full-time positions, wages and health care.
The SEIU has the backing of Gov. Mark Dayton, who told union members at a convention in November to demand better pay.
Janitors with the SEIU previously voted to strike in 2009, but a work stoppage was averted with a contract settlement. About 1,000 security officers went on a one-day strike in the Twin Cities in 2008.