The Service Employees International Union — representing the Twin Cities, Minn. janitors — is working with 18 employers in the area to negotiate health coverage for those individuals that clean their facilities. Cleaning contracts for these buildings — some of the largest in the city — expired in 2006, but cleaning has continued in hopes that a resolution to demands can be met.

According to reports from The Star Tribune, the union represents 4,200 workers, 85 percent of which are commercial cleaners in the metro area and more than 90 percent of those working in the two downtowns.

Employers are arguing that the union's demands for health insurance would increase their costs by 600 percent. But, the union argues that because of a rebound in the real estate market, cleaning services costs have gone down and it is time that employers share those profits with their employees.

The union has scheduled a vote for January 13 to decide on whether they should strike. If a "yes" vote is determined, workers will begin walking off job sites to join picket lines.

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