Kmart, Target, Sears Subcontractor Faces Class Action Suit From Hundreds Of Workers

Hundreds of more workers may be joining a class action lawsuit against a company that cleans stores for major retailers. 12 Twin City cleaning workers originally filed the suit against Diversified Maintenance Systems. It has now received conditional class action which could be applied to workers at approximately 130 stores. This means that Diversified, the subcontractor for cleaning Kmart, Target, Sears and other stores, will be forced to turn over the names and addresses of all the workers in these stores.

About 200 retail cleaning workers and supporters with CTUL (Centro de Trabajadores en Lucha – Center for Workers United in the Struggle) picketed outside the Kmart on Lake St in Minneapolis to protest the pay practices of Diversified Maintenance Systems. Saturday’s action is part of an ongoing struggle, which began two years ago, for improved wages and working conditions for workers at Diversified Maintenance Systems.

CTUL’s 2-year campaign has produced some results, wage increases and improved working conditions but much remains to be done. While many area janitors make $13.42 an hour, workers at Diversified make around $8 an hour

In August, 2012, seventeen Twin Cities workers filed complaints against Diversified with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding alleged unsafe working conditions including being locked in the store overnight while they worked. OSHA has stated that apparent violations were observed and citations have been issued to the company.

Minneapolis State Senator Jeff Hayden


State Senator Jeff Hayden, DFL, Minneapolis said, “Thank you for having the courage to fight because sometimes its hard to think about fighting when your families are suffering.”

Minneapolis Council Memember Betsy Hodges


Minneapolis Council Member Betsy Hodges said, “If this community is not working for workers of Diversified, then it’s not working for any of us. And if it’s not working for any of us, we are not in a world that we want.”

There have been several suits filed against Diversified for working conditions and pay policies. In the past Diversified has chosen not to face the charges in court but settled the case before it went to court.

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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