HealthPartners workers picket, warn clinic closings will hurt local communities at worst possible time

By moving forward with plans to close nine facilities in Minnesota and eastern Wisconsin, HealthPartners is turning its back on local communities at the worst possible time, clinic workers say. Members of two unions impacted by the closings, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and OPEIU Local 12, held … [Continue Reading ...]

St. Paul nursing home workers want respect for their essential work, and they’re on strike to get it

On a day when working people in over 25 cities across the U.S. joined a union-backed Strike for Black Lives, nursing home workers at Cerenity Humboldt Care Center in St. Paul staged a 24-hour strike, demanding a contract that reflects their essential work. Members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota who … [Continue Reading ...]

As GOP plays politics with infrastructure bill, tradespeople warn their jobs hang in balance

If Minnesota lawmakers treated their jobs as seriously as the state’s union tradespeople treat theirs, Gov. Tim Walz would be signing a bonding bill this week. That’s the message Minnesota’s Building and Construction Trades unions brought to the Capitol in St. Paul today, hours after legislators … [Continue Reading ...]

MN nurses union backs mask mandate

The Minnesota Nurses Association is urging state and local lawmakers to make face coverings mandatory in public places, calling it a “necessary measure to protect the public and stave off a resurgence of the vicious COVID-19 virus that has ravaged this state.”   The union’s board … [Continue Reading ...]

Feature Story

As GOP plays politics with infrastructure bill, tradespeople warn their jobs hang in balance

If Minnesota lawmakers treated their jobs as seriously as the state’s union tradespeople treat theirs, Gov. Tim Walz would be signing a bonding bill this week. That’s the message Minnesota’s Building and Construction Trades unions brought to the Capitol in St. Paul today, … [Continue Reading ...]

Labor in the Community

MN nurses union backs mask mandate

The Minnesota Nurses Association is urging state and local lawmakers to make face coverings mandatory in public places, calling it a “necessary measure to protect the public and stave off a resurgence of the vicious COVID-19 virus that has ravaged this state.”   The union’s board … [Continue Reading ...]

More than a building, a building block on city’s East Side

By John Crea, Special to The Union Advocate  In Greg Gaut’s “Reinventing the People’s Library,” we find a nicely woven story about a place, a people and a public space.   The place is the east side of St. Paul, where an ancient river punched through the limestone … [Continue Reading ...]

Unions hold vigil for workers exposed to COVID-19

One thousand votive candles flickered on the steps of the State Capitol last night, a tribute to Minnesota's essential workers who have fallen ill with COVID-19. "To workers who have contracted COVID, this is for you," Minnesota Nurses Association President Mary Turner said, opening the … [Continue Reading ...]

Unions move quickly to keep tradespeople safe on jobsites

  Minnesota’s construction industry has not shut down during the pandemic, but it’s not business as usual on the job site either, as local Building Trades unions and their contractors make adjustments to prevent the virus’ spread and keep tradespeople healthy. “Any time you work construction, … [Continue Reading ...]

Labor Voices

Kera Peterson: In uncertain times, voting is sure way to make an impact

– Kera Peterson is president of the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. She wrote this "Labor Voices" column for the August 2020 issue of The Saint Paul Union Advocate. ***** “In these uncertain times …” It’s the marketing catchphrase of 2020, and for good reason. Our lives have been … [Continue Reading ...]

For 20 years, Lynne Larkin-Wright helped union members get through the ‘bumps on the road’

Lynne Larkin-Wright had been in the workforce five years when her father, George, a member and officer of Laborers Local 132, confronted her with a question: “Why would you work anything other than union?” Soon thereafter, Larkin-Wright never did. She took a job with the City of St. Paul, … [Continue Reading ...]

McCollum focused on keeping workers, families safe during crisis

The global pandemic has elected officials spending less time shaking hands and more time taking calls – so much time, in fact, that Congresswoman Betty McCollum recently treated herself to a pair of Apple AirPods.  “I am on the phone from about 8:30 in the morning to about 6:30 at night, … [Continue Reading ...]

Lessons from labor history can inform our labor movement during COVID-19 crisis

(Peter Rachleff, co-director of the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul, wrote this essay for The Union Advocate's May 2020 issue.) COVID-19 is the biggest crisis of our lives, and workers are on the front lines. Large, profitable employers expect workers deemed “essential” — those in healthcare, … [Continue Reading ...]