Labor-endorsed Tobolt seeks council seat without help from shadowy ‘reform’ groups

Megan Boldt and Darren Tobolt address union leaders in Duluth. (Labor World photo)

[This report by Larry Sillanpa is adapted from his column, “A View from the Ditch,” in the July 22 edition of the Labor World, a Duluth-based publication Sillanpa edits.] DULUTH – It seemed like a stretch – a St. Paul City Council candidate was coming to Duluth to talk about how corporate “school reformers” are […]

Melander steps down as St. Paul Building Trades’ top officer

Incoming and outgoing officers of the St. Paul Building Trades: (L to R) Tom McCarthy, Stan Theis, Harry Melander and Don Mullin.

  Harry Melander has stepped down after 10 years as the executive secretary of the St. Paul Building and Construction Trades Council, which swore Don Mullin into office as Melander’s successor in the full-time position at a delegate meeting tonight. Delegates voted unanimously to elect Mullin at a meeting last month. They also elected Tom […]

McCarthy to succeed Knutson as Minnesota AFL-CIO’s top officer


The Minnesota AFL-CIO General Board today elected Bill McCarthy to serve as the state labor federation’s next president. McCarthy, currently president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, will take office Oct. 13. McCarthy will succeed current Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson, the first woman to serve as president of the 300,000-member labor federation. Knutson, who […]

Tim Mackey: Laborers fought physical machine testing – and won

Laborers Local 563 Business Manager Tim Mackey

On June 30, Laborers Local 563 won its federal court case to enforce an arbitration award that stopped an employer from using a physical machine test to screen members. The union believes that this type of test has nothing to do with the ability to do the work and may unfairly exclude people who have […]

Bobby Kasper: Moving our hall, bringing along the spirit of 411 Main

President Kasper reads a proclamation from the City declaring June 10 "411 Main Day" in St. Paul.

A house is more than its walls and windows, more than the foundation and support beams that hold it together. Memories make a house a home. The friends and family members who gathered there – and the accomplishments that took place under its roof – are as much a part of any house as its […]

Rose Roach: It’s health care, not ‘wealth care’ – and it’s a human right

Rose Roach is executive director of the Minnesota Nurses Association.

A. Phillip Randolph, union organizer and president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, once said, “The essence of trade unionism is social uplift. The labor movement has been the haven for the dispossessed, the despised, the neglected, the downtrodden, the poor.” The essence of trade unionism is social uplift. What better issue to provide […]

WAIT Twin Cities coalition takes local labor movement by surprise


Just one day after local supporters of the Fight for $15 announced plans to strike for higher wages and union rights later this month, fast-food, retail and other low-wage workers in a new coalition stepped forward with an unexpected announcement of their own. “We’re fine, actually,” said Lucas Hoffman, lead organizer of Workers Allied for Income and Tips (WAIT) Twin Cities. […]

Bernie Hesse: Politicians, bad laws can’t stop workers from organizing

Bernie Hesse

Our union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189, organized a new group of workers in Luck, Wis., the day Gov. Scott Walker signed a Right to Work for Less bill. The workers at Pioneer Care Center, a nursing home in Luck, voted overwhelmingly for a union. The worker win was the bright spot on […]

John Marty: Minnesota must end worker poverty


Working people should not be trapped in poverty. This was part of the social contract America made with its people 80 years ago in the New Deal. Workers will receive a minimum wage. It may not be enough to make you rich, but you will have enough to afford necessities for your family – food, […]

Shar Knutson: 2015 legislative session presents challenges, opportunities


The 2015 legislative session is nearly one month old, and Minnesotans are presented with a very different situation than we were in 2013 and 2014. While Gov. Dayton was reelected and a DFL majority remains in the Senate, Republicans now control the Minnesota House. With a DFL-controlled state government, Minnesota’s labor movement successfully advocated for […]


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