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 […]

Unions break ground on new Labor Center in St. Paul

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Labor and civic leaders today broke ground on a new hub of operations for St. Paul’s unions. The ceremony took place a week after Catholic Charities assumed ownership of the old St. Paul Labor Centre, better known as “411 Main.” The new labor center will stand at 345 West 7th Street, about one block south […]

Love wins! Union members join celebration at Twin Cities Pride Parade

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  Union members joined the party at the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade in Minneapolis yesterday, cheering the Supreme Court’s historic decision making marriage equality the law of the land. “We’re always fighting; it feels good to be celebrating for a change,” Charli Haataja, a member of Local 7250 of the Communications Workers of America, […]

Janitors fired after joining strike confront dealerships they used to clean

A delegation of workers confronts Village Chevrolet General Manager Grant Osgood outside the dealership.

  WAYZATA – Backed by a delegation of supporters, three janitors fired after going on strike confronted the car dealerships they used to clean yesterday, asking managers to use their influence with cleaning contractor ROC to help them get their jobs back. “I am angry because they’re not listening to us,” fired worker Julio Romero […]

Fired after joining strike, four janitors suspect retaliation

Demecio Romero is one of four workers – all members of the same family – fired from their jobs cleaning Lexus of Wayzata, Village Chevrolet and the Auto Bargain Center in Wayzata.

  Four janitors with 8 years of experience cleaning car dealerships in Wayzata were fired June 9, the same day they joined a Twin Cities-wide strike for better wages and working conditions. Suspecting retaliation was the motive behind their release, the janitors and their supporters are pressuring the dealerships and their cleaning contractor, ROC Commercial […]

With Fast Track vote looming, Minnesotans join ‘last-ditch effort’ to sway Wisconsin rep

Union members from Minnesota and Wisconsin stand together against Fast Track and the TPP outside Rep. Ron Kind's Eau Claire offices.

  EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – In a showing of cross-border solidarity, fair trade activists from Minnesota bolstered the ranks of local activists protesting today outside the offices of U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, a lead proponent of legislation that would “fast track” more bad trade deals that threaten U.S. jobs. Fast Track, or “trade promotion authority,” […]

Victory in Los Angeles buoys hopes of local 15 Now supporters

Paul Ahrens, a business representative for IATSE Local 44 in Southern California, offers details on the 15 Now victory in Los Angeles during a forum on the movement in St. Paul.

  Workers taking collective action and communities organizing for political change form the groundwork of 15 Now, panelists said Wednesday during a forum on the nationwide movement to raise wages. The discussion was the second in a new series of monthly educational events hosted by the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul, co-sponsored by […]

Janitors set new strike deadline, accuse cleaning contractor of wage theft

CTUL member Maricela Flores speaks at a press conference announcing a class-action lawsuit seeking unpaid wages for workers who cleaned Macy's and Herberger's stores in the Twin Cities.

Janitors who clean big-box and department stores in the Twin Cities announced two key developments in their campaign for better wages and working conditions today, setting a new strike deadline and filing a class-action lawsuit to recoup wages allegedly lost to wage theft. Members of with the Twin Cities worker center CTUL took legal action […]

Kohl’s refuses to hear from workers who keep its stores clean

Rosalia Morales, wearing a black sweatshirt, confronts a manager in Kohl's Roseville store about working conditions at the company's cleaning subcontractor Kimco.

  Executives at Kohl’s had no interest today in hearing concerns about working conditions maintained by cleaning subcontractors inside their department stores – not in Roseville, and not at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Milwaukee. That’s disappointing, workers said, given the pattern of OSHA violations recently exposed at one of Kohl’s cleaning contractors in […]

Gold watch? Fountain pen? For 25th anniversary, AT&T guts MN workers’ sick leave

CWA Local 7250 members impacted by AT&T's sick-pay policy include Susan Anderson,

Members of Local 7250 of the Communications Workers of America called a grievance strike yesterday. About 200 workers picketed outside AT&T’s offices downtown Minneapolis in support of their longest-tenured co-workers, who have seen requests for sick pay denied by the company. AT&T claims it’s not required to allow workers with 25 or more years of […]

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