Builders past, present honored for work on Minnesota’s Capitol

Renee Gisch brought her grandchildren to the Capitol so they could see the restoration work she and hundreds of other tradespeople did over the last four years. Nearby, Daniel Reibestein and his mother, Donna, paid tribute to the work his great grandfather put into the landmark building’s original … [Continue Reading ...]

Home care workers ratify new contract, urge lawmakers to get serious about looming care crisis

Union members who provide in-home health services to clients across Minnesota have ratified a new contract with the state that will lift wages, provide holiday pay, boost paid-time off and expand training opportunities for an estimated 27,000 home care workers statewide. The new contract, home … [Continue Reading ...]

Campaign for $15 sets sights on St. Paul

After an inspiring victory in Minneapolis, the coalition of unions, faith groups and community organizations working in support of a $15 minimum wage has shifted its focus to St. Paul, where a wide-open mayoral contest creates a strategic window of opportunity. After it passed the City Council by … [Continue Reading ...]

Pipe Trades apprentices test skills at regional competition in Twin Cities

It would be an understatement to say the competition among Pipe Trades apprentices – and apprenticeship programs – held in the Twin Cities June 7-8 was intense. How intense? After a labor reporter chatting with one of the visiting instructors snapped a photo of some plumbing specs, he was … [Continue Reading ...]

Feature Story

Campaign for $15 sets sights on St. Paul

After an inspiring victory in Minneapolis, the coalition of unions, faith groups and community organizations working in support of a $15 minimum wage has shifted its focus to St. Paul, where a wide-open mayoral contest creates a strategic window of opportunity. After it … [Continue Reading ...]

Labor in the Community

Pipe Trades apprentices test skills at regional competition in Twin Cities

It would be an understatement to say the competition among Pipe Trades apprentices – and apprenticeship programs – held in the Twin Cities June 7-8 was intense. How intense? After a labor reporter chatting with one of the visiting instructors snapped a photo of some plumbing specs, he was … [Continue Reading ...]

Sheet Metal Workers put new lid on St. Paul’s municipal booya shed

St. Paul’s municipal booya kitchen has a new roof, thanks to members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 10 and union contractor Berwald Roofing. Four members of Local 10 installed a new standing seam metal roof on the structure in Highland Park today. The contractor donated supplies; Local 10 picked up … [Continue Reading ...]

Friends’ labor history series looks back on ‘World in Turmoil’

May is labor history month, and for the last 18 years, the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library have marked the occasion with a series of labor-related programs in the city’s libraries and union halls. The award-winning “Untold Stories” series will continue this May, with an appropriately … [Continue Reading ...]

On annual service day, union plumbers provide $70,000 in service, repairs

Volunteer plumbers provided an estimated $70,000 worth of service and repairs to senior, low-income and disabled homeowners in Minnesota during their unions’ annual Water’s Off day of service March 25. The program, begun in 1994, is a joint effort sponsored annually by Minnesota plumbers’ unions … [Continue Reading ...]

Labor Voices

Bernie Hesse: ‘Don’t do something out of charity, do it out of solidarity’

He is gruff and often combative, principled and usually blunt. But above all else, Bernie Hesse is a trade unionist. From his days as a grocery clerk to his current work as director of special projects for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189, Hesse has made himself ubiquitous in St. … [Continue Reading ...]

Erik Brandt: An open letter to Macalester College (and its peers)

I’d like to tell you about my long-time colleague, Amy. Over the last 20 years at Harding High School in St. Paul, I have watched Amy work tirelessly with thousands of our fantastic students – nearly all of whom are low-income, minority, first generation to attend college – to help them navigate the … [Continue Reading ...]

Denise Rodriguez: ‘Our contract is the most powerful tool we have’

When she and her friends played school as kids, Denise Rodriguez was always the teacher. As a teenager she dreamed of teaching Spanish at Harding High School, just like her favorite teacher. Now Rodriguez, president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers for the last three years, is set to retire … [Continue Reading ...]

Rose Roach: Let’s bring back sanity, fairness and compassion

Our wealth is being stolen from us. We are being robbed of our opportunity to better our plight. This isn’t some liberal conspiracy “theory” – it’s an actual conspiracy. Public education is being defunded so only those with money can get a “good” education for their children. The cost of college … [Continue Reading ...]