Workers in Minnesota Fight to Survive

Workers in Minnesota Fight to Survive

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

Keith Ellison

Phoenix, AZ

#1 Oct 14, 2013
Maricela Flores, a single mother of four, struggles every day to find ways for her family to live on $8 an hour. Hundreds of Minnesotans like Maricela leave their homes and families after dinner to work late night shifts for contracted janitorial companies. They clean retail stores around the state, including many Targets in our communities. Now they're standing up and demanding a chance at a better future for their children.

It takes 86 hours a week working in a minimum wage job to pay for an average two-bedroom apartment in Minnesota, according to Minnesota 2020. That's 12 hours a day, seven days a week. That does not include food, water, electricity or health care.

Over the past 10 years, wages have tumbled in the retail cleaning industry. Five federal lawsuits alleging millions of dollars in unpaid wages in the contracted cleaning of Target stores around the country have been filed during that same time.

Employees of Diversified Maintenance Systems, who clean Targets and other stores in the Twin Cities, settled a class action lawsuit for $675,000 last February. The lawsuit alleged that janitors were forced to work up to 80 hours per week without receiving full overtime pay. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry recently cited Carlson Building Maintenance, the company that employs Maricela, with 8 "serious" violations of health and safety laws. The company placed 24 workers who work in the Twin Cities in jobs where "substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result," according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration findings.

There is no reason that workers like Maricela should work full-time, live in poverty, and risk their lives. Since 2009, 95 percent of the reported income gains in the United States have gone to the top 1 percent instead of being shared with working families.

It's no accident that real wages have declined while executive pay and corporate profits have climbed rapidly. There is simply no excuse for it.

More at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-keith-ellis...
Tea Party People

Saint Paul, MN

#3 Oct 14, 2013
P C Free Zone wrote:
Here's an idea: don't have 4 kids with men who don't pay child support! Idiots!!!
WOW, common sense! No wonder the racist moderator deleted the comment!
LIbEralS

Minneapolis, MN

#4 Oct 14, 2013
So, in the story above, what government assistance is she getting?
Racist Republicans

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Oct 14, 2013
The only redeeming quality of your racist rants are that the Democrats will win soundly in 2014.
LIbEralS

Minneapolis, MN

#6 Oct 14, 2013
Yes! Let's play the race card anytime anyone dares to suggest that people should be responsible for themselves.
GOP Shutdown Damage

Minneapolis, MN

#9 Oct 14, 2013
LIbEralS wrote:
Yes! Let's play the race card anytime anyone dares to suggest that people should be responsible for themselves.
Seems like the Republicans are the one playing the race card by discriminating against minorities.

If the shoe fits...
Susan

Minneapolis, MN

#11 Oct 14, 2013
Democrats r Us wrote:
<quoted text>
You want everyone else to pay for your free stuff. Obamaphone, Obamacare, welfare for life, free housing, free transportation, and on and on.
If the shoe fits... you are a loser.
Who is this "you" that you are referring to?

Unlike you, I pay taxes every year and don't get anything free from the government, like most Democrats. Your "49 percent" rant gets old, particularly when you live off your government pension and sit home and do nothing but complain instead of trying to make our country a better place for all of us.
LIbEralS

Minneapolis, MN

#12 Oct 14, 2013
GOP Shutdown Damage wrote:
<quoted text>
Seems like the Republicans are the one playing the race card by discriminating against minorities.
If the shoe fits...
Wait a second, it appears as if your post is assuming that the poor are all minorities. Is that what you think?

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