Newly unionized Chisago Lakes custodians tap community support in first contract campaign

If administrators in the Chisago Lakes School District thought they could push their school custodians around without anyone noticing, then the semi-truck blaring its horn outside their offices at 8 a.m. Monday was a wakeup call in more ways than one. The custodians, who formed a union earlier … [Continue Reading ...]

Workers at Twin Cities mental health agency to vote on union

Wellness is at the heart of what Headway Emotional Health Services workers do on the job. It’s also at the heart of their union drive, which moved a step closer to the finish line last week. Headway workers filed a petition Oct. 18 asking the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union … [Continue Reading ...]

Strike vote nets Minneapolis laundry workers a better deal

After voting 97-1 to authorize a strike last week, laundry workers at Aramark’s northeast Minneapolis facility today accepted an improved offer from their employer, roughly doubling the wage increase included in the contract. The laundry workers, members of CMRJB Workers United, had planned a … [Continue Reading ...]

Educators frustrated by plan to uproot St. Paul students

Plans to close five schools in St. Paul and merge or consolidate 10 others drew a swift rebuke from union educators, who called the proposal heavy handed, shortsighted and disruptive to students and families. Members of the St. Paul school board received the recommendations, generated through a … [Continue Reading ...]

Feature Story

Strike vote nets Minneapolis laundry workers a better deal

After voting 97-1 to authorize a strike last week, laundry workers at Aramark’s northeast Minneapolis facility today accepted an improved offer from their employer, roughly doubling the wage increase included in the contract. The laundry workers, members of CMRJB Workers … [Continue Reading ...]

Labor in the Community

Educators frustrated by plan to uproot St. Paul students

Plans to close five schools in St. Paul and merge or consolidate 10 others drew a swift rebuke from union educators, who called the proposal heavy handed, shortsighted and disruptive to students and families. Members of the St. Paul school board received the recommendations, generated through a … [Continue Reading ...]

Photos: Teamster horses bring union’s history to life in Blaine

Before they were driving 18-wheelers and UPS trucks, Teamsters drove horses. The union’s name refers to the people who drove a team of horses pulling a wagon, and the Teamsters’ logo still features two horses, Thunder and Lightning, to this day. It’s a history lesson Teamsters Local 120 brought … [Continue Reading ...]

Medical cannabis workers ‘insulted’ by MN grower’s contract offer

When Vireo Health needed help lobbying state lawmakers to expand Minnesota’s medical cannabis program, employees and their union stepped up, helping push the measure across the finish line in May. Unfortunately, that spirit of cooperation has not extended to the bargaining table this … [Continue Reading ...]

Outnumbered on the job site, tradeswomen find camaraderie, support via new ‘Lean In Circles’

Building Trades unions in the U.S. and Canada have launched a peer mentorship and training program to help tradeswomen thrive in an industry historically dominated by men. Lean In Circles for Union Tradeswomen, a partnership between unions and LeanIn.Org, brings tradeswomen together in small … [Continue Reading ...]

Labor Voices

Investment, worker voice critical to addressing care crisis

By Jacquelyn Kelly, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota What we decide to do today will create the foundation on which our families will build their tomorrows. This is true for many parts of life, but it is especially true in the care field. As a home care worker and the mother of a child who needs care … [Continue Reading ...]

Frustration builds as lawmakers blow deadline for plan to pay frontline workers

Essential workers are taking aim at Republican members of a legislative work group tasked with delivering $250 million to Minnesota’s essential workers, accusing politicians of holding up the process in an attempt to pit frontline workers against each other. “We went to work for the last 18 … [Continue Reading ...]

Jennifer Christensen: ‘We really are dedicated, as a union, to everyone doing better’

Jennifer Christensen’s career with the United Food and Commercial Workers started over 30 years ago as a part-time deli worker at Cub Foods, and it will end this month, when she retires as president of South St. Paul- and Duluth-based UFCW Local 1189. She was the first woman to serve as president … [Continue Reading ...]

Roofers local’s new secretary-treasurer breaks ground as first woman elected to office

July has been a winning month for Samantha Schanus. The journey-level roofer from Mora was among four Tradeswomen Heroes award winners named this month by North America’s Building Trades Unions. The monthly award highlights outstanding achievement within the ranks of the Building Trades’ … [Continue Reading ...]