MINNEAPOLIS - About 2,000 security officers are preparing to strike after talks broke down between the union and employers on Friday.
The members of the Service Employees International Union say they are prepared to strike starting at midnight Monday, if no deal is reached. Their current contract expired on Dec. 31, 2012. On Feb. 9, members voted to authorize a strike.
"This is a strike that security companies are voluntarily, willingly taking on," said SEIU Local 26 President Javier Morillo.
On Sunday, union members gathered at South High School in Minneapolisto learn more about the status of the talks and to review the deal reached by janitors. At least 4,000 janitors reached a deal with their employers on Saturday that includes a raise of $1.20 an hour over three years.
But officials say several sticking points remain for security officers -- who have a starting salary of $12.50 an hour -- including a raise of $1 an hour and more affordable health care.
"We're willing to stand up for ourselves. Just like I think all working people should stand up for themselves and have respect for themselves," said Kevin Chavis, a security officer at Wells Fargo Center who is preparing to strike.
The one-day strike will target the seven security companies involved: American Security, Securitas, G4S, Allied Barton, Viking Security, ABM Security andWhelan Security. Several large corporations that use those companies will also be targeted, including Target, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.
A lawyer for the employers did not return several messages on Sunday. Talks are scheduled to resume in mid-March.