Peter Rachleff: Turbulent history sheds light on Labor Day’s relevance

Peter Rachleff is professor of history a President of the East Side Freedom Library.

Monday, Sept. 1, will mark the 120th celebration of Labor Day as a legal, national holiday. The holiday had a turbulent, complicated beginning. Understanding more about this can help us rethink the significance of this holiday today. American labor in 1894 was a volatile force. The industrial revolution had radically transformed work, replacing skilled labor […]

St. Paul home care worker Maggie Doran: Why I’m voting ‘yes’


On July 8, home care workers from across the state came together to file a union petition that triggered what will be the largest union election in the history of our state. Ballots will go out to more than 26,000 home care workers on August 1, and we will have our election results before Labor […]

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 transit to get to work. Our seniors need […]

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

AFSCME Council 5 President Judy Wahlberg

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 […]

Bobby Kasper: Super Bowl will showcase union workers

Bobby Kasper

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 […]

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 part in […]

Ken Peterson: Job safety and Workers Memorial Day


Work should be less dangerous. Fewer people should die or be injured at work. That’s why Canadian labor unions started the first Workers Memorial Day in 1985. They picked April 28 because it was the date Canada’s first workers’ compensation law was passed in 1914. Recognizing the significance of what the Canadians had begun, U.S. […]

Bobby Kasper: Time for lawmakers to get minimum-wage increase done

Bobby Kasper

Raising minimum wage to $9.50 per hour will improve the incomes of 357,000 working Minnesotans across the demographic spectrum. It would also improve the incomes of 202,000 working women. If we would have indexed Minnesota’s first minimum wage in 1973, $1.80 per hour, it would be approximately $9.50 today. Indexing minimum wage to $9.50 allows […]

Bernard Brommer: In minimum-wage debate, some myths just won’t go away


Legislation has been introduced that would provide a much needed increase in the minimum wage after many years of no action. The principal parties and the arguments have remained essentially the same since the inception of minimum-wage laws many decades ago. As we have learned over time, there are many myths that surround the debate, […]

Shar Knutson: It’s time for Senate to act on minimum wage


When the Minnesota Legislature reconvenes on February 25th, lawmakers will be greeted by hundreds of people from Labor, Faith, Non-Profit, and Community Groups calling on them to increase Minnesota’s minimum wage to at least $9.50 per hour. The hundreds of Minnesotans gathered at the Capitol will be there because of one underlying principle; nobody who […]


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