MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Members of a local union are taking to the streets to fight for workers’ rights.
Hundreds in the Twin Cities Service Employess International Union (SEIU) chapter marched on Central Avenue in northeast Minneapolis Saturday. Janitors, security officers and other service workers support a measure in Minneapolis that would put more restrictions on businesses.READ MORE: Man Dies Days After Being Shot In Head In South Minneapolis
The SEIU supports a proposal from Minneapolis City Council members to give workers more structure and benefits. The proposal would require businesses to let workers know their schedules a month in advance, give them shift overtime after eight hours, and paid sick leave.
But for some, the benefits of the measure don’t outweigh the cost.
As workers marched up Central Avenue, many shouted their demands.
“We deserve things like real, paid sick time so we can enjoy time with our family members,” one of the organizers said into a megaphone at the rally.
Others, like Elia Starwhere, say it’s about being heard.
“I want to be here today for someone to hear my voice,” she said.
Starwhere is a cleaner in Minneapolis, and mother of three. She hopes her union will piggyback on a city proposal to give workers more paid sick time and secured schedules.
“I’m praying to God they can pass that proposal,” she said.READ MORE: 'We're Making Some Adjustments': Worker Shortage Has Metro Transit Pushing Light Rail Service To Every 12 Minutes
Other Minneapolis workers, like Keegan’s bartender Jeffrey Schilgen, disagree.
“It literally would take away all the flexibility I took this job for,” he said.
Schilgen says having a set work schedule a month in advance would be difficult for his family, and that it outweighs the benefits of the proposal.
“If I wanted a job with paid sick leave or paid vacation time, I would get a job with paid sick leave or paid vacation time,” he said.
Still, SEIU workers, like security Guard Kevin Chavis, are hoping the proposal not only passes in Minneapolis, but catches on in other areas.
“If it’s happening in Minneapolis, it’s easier to have the same standards across the Metro,” he said.
Elia Starwhere says it’s a family matter.
“It is very important for everybody,” she said. “When we are mothers and have our kids, we don’t know when they’ll get sick or what will happen to our families.”MORE NEWS: Northern Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty To Abusing Child Over Several Years
The Minneapolis City Council will be voting on the ordinance sometime by the end of the year. The local SEIU chapter will have to agree on a new contract in early 2016.