International Minnesota 

MNworks fighting to “Unlock Our Future”

More then 6,000 janitors and security guards are facing an unsure future and have been working without a contract since the beginning of this year. Their contracts expired at the end of last year and their employers aren’t willing to agree upon the terms of the new contract(s). The groups representing them, don’t see the situation getting any better in the future, and they are preparing themselves for even tougher negotiations.

The workers are represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26 and Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL). Rogue Citizen and the Arts and Democracy Project have also joined the fight.

It’s far to say that this has become a battle against workers and the infamous 1%. A battle against David and Goliath. Of course the 1% has the upper hand with its available resources, which it obtained from revenue generated by the 6,000 workers in question. You could say that these employes aren’t employes but modern day slaves. This is bigger then just the janitorial and security jobs. The SEIU and CTUL are not just fighting for jobs but also for communities. The 6,000 are also homeowners, parents, church members, students, and most importantly taxpayers.

One of the companies involved in the negotiations is the Target Corporation. This isn’t the first time they have denied a group their unalienable rights. We can look back at when gay rights supporters started a boycott. Target apologized, came out with a line of gay pride t-shirts, and started selling gay marriage greeting cards.

Other groups have also stepped forward in solidarity to help the 6,000, by spreading the word. Rogue Citizens, a collective group of artists, has created artwork to draw attention to the matter. They have collectively created the “Unlock” graphic series of banners and posters, which provide the public face of the campaign. They have also organized an outreach event entitled “MNworks,” which will be a one night exhibition and concert celebrating the art of labor, justice movements, and shedding light on current struggles.

MNworks will take place on Friday, February 1, 2013 from 6pm until midnight. It will take place at the Bedlam Community Center 2714 East 27th Street, Minneapolis. It will be free and open to the public.

Artists performing: Toki Wright, Sean Anonymous, Raising the Bar, J. Brown, Harry Waters, Jr., Mark Kreazy, and Dj Truckstache.

Exhibition Artists: Ta-coumbia Aiken, Ricardo Morales, Becky Dernback, DWITT, Biafra, Erin Sayer, Line Break Media, Amina Harper, Dalsen, Lizardman, and more…

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