Trumka at U of M: ‘There’s a way for workers to win, and it’s together’

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka speaks at the U of M's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

In a policy address at the University of Minnesota yesterday, the nation’s highest-ranking labor leader pointed to “thousands of little groundswells” from across the country, including in the Twin Cities, as signs of a renaissance for collective action in American culture. “Right now workers are standing together and asking for a better life – and […]

Building a movement to combat student debt, CWA offers free, public clinics in Minneapolis

Participants in the CWA student debt clinics learn how they can advocate for fairness in student lending.

Naomi Holmes will run out of deferments on $57,000 in student debt this winter. Howard Terry took out a $30,000 loan to finish his graduate degree at the University of Phoenix. Tom Laabs’ wife, Liz, will graduate next year from the University of Minnesota with six figures’ worth of debt. “When that school loan comes […]

Striking workers revive campaign for Working Families Agenda

Striking workers and their supporters rally outside a McDonald's and Super America in Northeast Minneapolis.

  Fast-food workers and retail janitors from 70 Twin Cities stores joined a nationwide strike today, rallying early this morning with other low-wage workers in support of a $15 minimum wage, paid sick days and other policies in the stalled Working Families Agenda. Workers in 270 cities planned to join the strike, which mostly targeted […]

Public finally gets a look at TPP – and it isn’t pretty


Labor, environmental and other fair-trade activists are getting their first look at the Tran-Pacific Partnership, released to the public overnight. Their initial reaction? It’s worse than expected. “It’s absolutely not a progressive trade deal,” Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition director Kaela Berg said after an early analysis of the text. “It’s clear that TPP will perpetuate […]

Six for St. Paul City Council win Labor endorsement

Volunteers with the Minnesota Nurses Association door knock for Darren Tobolt (R) in St. Paul’s Ward 2

The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, with more than 100 affiliate unions representing 50,000 union members in the East Metro, has endorsed six candidates for St. Paul City Council on the Nov. 3 ballot. Read more about Ward 2 candidate Darren Tobolt here, and read profiles of the Labor-endorsed candidates for St. Paul school […]

Four for Change: Meet the Labor-endorsed St. Paul school board candidates

Maddy Lee, a senior at Harding High School in St. Paul, asks candidates for school board a question about the district’s discipline policies during a forum at the East Side Freedom Library. St.  Paul Federation of Teachers Local 28 sponsored the event, attended by all four labor-endorsed candidates for the board: (L to R) Jon Schumacher, Mary Vanderwert, Steve Marchese and Zuki Ellis.

    Four candidates for four open seats on the St. Paul school board have been endorsed by the St. Paul Federation of Teachers and the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. Here are brief profiles of the candidates that appeared in The Union Advocate’s Election Guide in advance of the Nov. 3 election. Zuki […]

Lawmakers split over state employees’ contracts, set to take effect next month

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Contracts covering about 27,500 state employees, including members of AFSCME Council 5 and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, will go into effect next month after a legislative subcommittee failed to reject or approve the agreements. Members of the Subcommittee on Employee Relations split along party lines in a 5-5 vote yesterday. Under state law, […]

‘Vote Yes’ campaigns in school districts across East Metro win labor support


Voters in the Forest Lake Area School District last year rejected a $176 million levy request, leaving the district’s facilities in critical need of updates and repair. Now, the district is back with another request on the Nov. 3 ballot, seeking $161 million over two unique referendums. Supporters of the local “Vote Yes” campaign, including […]

Union members look to make difference on White Bear Lake school board

Marge Newmaster (L) and Ellen Fahey

Ellen Fahey and Marge Newmaster, two of three labor-endorsed candidates for White Bear Lake school board, understand the challenges working families face, value public education and appreciate the collective bargaining process. It’s no coincidence Fahey and Newmaster also are union members. Minnesota unions have put a focus in recent years on training and equipping members, […]

Labor endorsed in Ward 2, Tobolt ready to stand up for working families ‘on day one’

Volunteers with the Minnesota Nurses Association door knock for Darren Tobolt (R) in St. Paul’s Ward 2

When a non-union electrical contractor was undermining area wages and benefits on a project funded by Ramsey County several years back, IBEW Local 110’s Brian Winkelaar didn’t think twice about what to do. He called Darren Tobolt, County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt’s longtime assistant. “I called him up and said, ‘Darren, how come they’re on this […]


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