Members of several Building Trades unions picket outside Ridgedale: (L to R) David Sears of Painters District Council 82, Roger LeClair of the Insulators Local 34, Brian Gullickson of the Cement Masons Local 633, Michael Connelly of Laborers Local 563 and Ryan Mims of the Painters.

Unions raise safety concerns at Ridgedale mall construction site

MINNETONKA – Laborers, bricklayers, painters, electricians and other union craftspeople picketed together outside Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka this morning, targeting several contractors working inside the mall that are undermining area wage and safety standards, according to the … [Continue Reading ...]

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Minnesota AFL-CIO adds organizing director

The Minnesota AFL-CIO has hired Todd Dahlstrom as its new director of organizing and growth, the state's largest labor federation announced in a press release today. “Minnesota’s unions are increasingly hearing from workers who want a voice at work and have asked their state federation to provide … [Continue Reading ...]

Nikki Villavicencio (L) and home care worker Sumer Spika lead a celebration outside the Bureau of Mediation Services after workers filed for a historic statewide election.

Home care workers ‘invisible no more’ after filing for historic union election

When home care workers in Minnesota launched their campaign to form a statewide union less than two years ago, they set out to raise wages, improve working conditions and bring legitimacy and respect to a career path seen as critical to meeting the needs of an aging population. They may not have … [Continue Reading ...]

Carpenters Union plans vintage car show Aug. 9 in St. Paul

Attention muscle-car enthusiasts and family-fun seekers: Mark Saturday, Aug. 9 on your calendars. That’s when local Carpenters unions, for the third consecutive year, will host a vintage car show to benefit their food shelf. Hot-rod owners will compete for 10 best-in-show trophies, and the first … [Continue Reading ...]

Feature Story

Nikki Villavicencio (L) and home care worker Sumer Spika lead a celebration outside the Bureau of Mediation Services after workers filed for a historic statewide election.

Home care workers ‘invisible no more’ after filing for historic union election

When home care workers in Minnesota launched their campaign to form a statewide union less than two years ago, they set out to raise wages, improve working conditions and bring legitimacy and respect to a career path seen as critical to meeting the needs of an aging … [Continue Reading ...]

Labor in the Community

Carpenters Union plans vintage car show Aug. 9 in St. Paul

Attention muscle-car enthusiasts and family-fun seekers: Mark Saturday, Aug. 9 on your calendars. That’s when local Carpenters unions, for the third consecutive year, will host a vintage car show to benefit their food shelf. Hot-rod owners will compete for 10 best-in-show trophies, and the first … [Continue Reading ...]

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‘Labor Sing’ to benefit AFL-CIO Community Services

The Twin Cities Labor Chorus will host its annual summer concert and sing-along, “Labor Sing,” at the State Fairgrounds July 29. The 7 p.m. concert will take place inside the Minnesota AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion, located at the corner of Dan Patch Ave. and Cooper St, near the Snelling Avenue entrance … [Continue Reading ...]

Judy Grudem served as treasurer for fundraising around the Workers Memorial Garden. She and Harry Melander (R) will serve on a committee to guide artists who will complete the memorial wall with a ceramic mural. Grudem's father, David Roe, conceived the idea for a memorial 15 years ago.

With support from bonding bill, MN Workers Memorial Garden nears completion

The $1 billion package of public infrastructure investments approved by state lawmakers earlier this year includes $250,000 for a mural and other improvements that will complete the Minnesota Workers Memorial Garden in St. Paul. Construction of the memorial, located near the intersection of 12th … [Continue Reading ...]

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AFSCME members lend Ramsey County golf courses a steady hand amid changes

It’s Mark Newton and Eric Swanson’s job to maintain the grounds at historic Keller Golf Course in Maplewood, but the members of AFSCME Local 1935 haven’t moved a pin or filled a divot in over a year. Newton and Swanson will shake off the rust July 19, when Keller reopens for public golf after … [Continue Reading ...]

Labor Voices

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Jennifer Munt: Let’s move Minnesota in 2015

Minnesota has an urgent transportation problem that’s making it difficult for Minnesotans to get to their next destination, whether that’s work, school, play or family. Transportation is about opportunity for all no matter who you are or where you live. Workers need safer roads and better public … [Continue Reading ...]

AFSCME Council 5 President Judy Wahlberg

Judy Wahlberg: The sexist agenda hidden in Harris v. Quinn

Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on Harris v. Quinn, the most important labor law case in decades. The lawsuit is another attempt to kill off public employee unions. It centers on a small group of Illinois home care workers who sued to avoid paying fees to the very union that would … [Continue Reading ...]

Bobby Kasper

Bobby Kasper: Super Bowl will showcase union workers

It doesn’t take most people very long to realize I’m not a native Minnesotan. My New York accent is usually a dead giveaway. But after living here for 20-plus years, Minnesota is the place I’m proud to call home. That’s why I was thrilled to learn the Twin Cities will play host to Super Bowl LII in … [Continue Reading ...]

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Barb Kucera: Twenty years ago, Juarez trip gave early glimpse of post-NAFTA world

It’s hard to believe it’s been two decades since NAFTA went into effect – 20 years since I walked among abandoned factories in El Paso, Texas, and cement and tarpaper shacks in Anapra, a shantytown on the edge of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. In November 1993, as editor of The Union Advocate, I took … [Continue Reading ...]

This Month in the Archives

The Union Advocate ran this cartoon in May 1964, celebrating an agreement brokered by President Lyndon Johnson to end a four-and-a-half-year dispute between railroad companies and their unions. In an address to the nation, Johnson praised both sides, and called the agreement a victory for collective bargaining. “I tell you quite frankly there are few events that give me more faith in my country and more pride in the free, collective bargaining process,” he said.

Unions backed comprehensive immigration reform bill 10 years ago … and still do

Democrats in Congress introduced legislation to provide a pathway to “legal residency” for an estimated 9 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. a decade ago. The measure drew support from unions, religious groups and immigrant organizations. Ten years later, of course, the fight for … [Continue Reading ...]

Read More From the Archives

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