ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Hundreds of Twin Cities-area janitors, security guards, airport service workers, and retail cleaning workers gathered at St. Paul Central High School on Saturday for the SEIU Local 26’s Contract Convention to address upcoming contract negotiations.

The janitors and security officers, many who are immigrants, are low-wage workers – some earning as little as $7.25 per hour.

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Organizers say they are standing together to improve sub-contracted industries in Minnesota.

Lucilia is a former retail cleaner and talked about why this is important to her, through an interpreter.

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“This is really important to me because every day wages of retail cleaning workers is going down,” she said. “Ten years ago, people in this industry were making about $10 an hour. Today they are making $7.50 or $8.00 an hour.”

The group gathered at St. Paul Central High School on Saturday, where the Gov. Mark Dayton and others with the SEIU Local 26, which is Minnesota’s property services union, met to talk about upcoming contracts.

“We are working to have a voice, and come together in our community,” she said.

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