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‘On the ropes,’ 3M’s Cottage Grove workers say they’re ready to strike

  Frustrated by management’s cuts-only approach to contract talks, Steelworkers employed at 3M’s chemicals plant in Cottage Grove voted overwhelmingly Sept. 1 to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike if necessary. But members of United Steelworkers Local 11-00418 aren’t waiting … [Continue Reading ...]

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Ruling sets stage for 2,500 Twin Cities faculty to take union vote

The historic organizing drive among faculty at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus cleared a major hurdle today, when a state agency ruled contingent and tenure-track faculty could join together in one potential bargaining unit. The Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services’ decision … [Continue Reading ...]

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Insurance plan trustee advises members ‘go elsewhere for care’ during Allina strike

The president of a major Minnesota union sent a letter this week to members enrolled in its health insurance plans urging them to “go elsewhere for health care” during the Allina strike. Jennifer Christensen, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189, cited concerns about … [Continue Reading ...]

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With Lowertown development, union pension fund invests in Building Trades workers

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust treated the men and women working to redevelop a property in St. Paul’s Lowertown district to lunch Aug. 31, highlighting the trust’s unique approach to investing union pension funds in union-built construction projects. The development, 333 on the Park, is … [Continue Reading ...]

Feature Story

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Insurance plan trustee advises members ‘go elsewhere for care’ during Allina strike

The president of a major Minnesota union sent a letter this week to members enrolled in its health insurance plans urging them to “go elsewhere for health care” during the Allina strike. Jennifer Christensen, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189, … [Continue Reading ...]

Labor in the Community

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With Lowertown development, union pension fund invests in Building Trades workers

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust treated the men and women working to redevelop a property in St. Paul’s Lowertown district to lunch Aug. 31, highlighting the trust’s unique approach to investing union pension funds in union-built construction projects. The development, 333 on the Park, is … [Continue Reading ...]

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As strike drags on, nurses question Allina board members’ leadership

  The 16 members of Allina Health’s board of directors have remained mostly above the fray since a contentious round of negotiations with nearly 5,000 union nurses began in February. But that changed last week, when Allina nurses at five Twin Cities facilities began an open-ended strike … [Continue Reading ...]

Striking United Hospital nurses Jennifer Mlodzik (L) and Linda Clute give blood at a union-sponsored blood drive near their picket line.

With Red Cross blood drive, striking nurses continue to care for community

Jennifer Mlodzik of Cottage Grove was among the first in line for a blood drive today near the United Hospital picket line, but she probably won’t be the last striking nurse who offers a little gallows humor to the Red Cross technicians. “Are you guys hiring?” Mlodzik asked the woman about to … [Continue Reading ...]

Co-authors of "The State of the Unions 2016," Monica Bielski Boris (L) and Jill Manzo, appear at a State Fair press conference with MN AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Julie Blaha (R).

New report sheds light on ‘state of the unions’ in Minnesota

  Income inequality is on the rise in Minnesota, and disparities between white workers and workers of color continue to widen. Unions are key to reversing both of those trends, according to a new report unveiled just in time for Labor Day. Co-authored by four researchers, “The State of … [Continue Reading ...]

Labor Voices

Eliot Seide speaks at AFSCME Council 5's Day on the Hill rally.

Eliot Seide: Loud bully or change maker? It’s our choice

Donald Trump is angling for voters like us – workers fed up by stagnant wages and an economy rigged for the rich. Don’t swallow his bait! Trump calls himself a “blue-collar billionaire.” There is no such thing! He’s really a bad boss who fires people on a game show. America needs a real … [Continue Reading ...]

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Bill Moore: Finding motivation for Labor 2016

I’m not much into political candidates. Maybe it’s because I was born in Chicago, where the party was the important thing. I was living in Illinois the first year I could vote. I just pulled the lever at the top for the Democratic ticket. In 1967 and early ’68, I volunteered for Gene McCarthy’s … [Continue Reading ...]

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Dave Kamper: Missed opportunity 50 years ago offers insight into labor’s current challenges

The Union Advocate recently reported that Local 1189 of the UFCW has rejected a so-called “final offer” in negotiations with the owners of Cub, Rainbow, Lunds & Byerly’s, and other major retail grocers in the East Metro. Notably absent from the negotiations, of course, are two of the largest … [Continue Reading ...]

Peter Rachleff is professor of history a President of the East Side Freedom Library.

Peter Rachleff: East Side Freedom Library celebrates second anniversary

This summer, the East Side Freedom Library is celebrating its second anniversary. Our roots lie in the vision that Dave Roe and Rudy Perpich had in the 1990s of a Labor History Center to tell the stories of the state’s workers and their labor movement, and our branches grow far and wide, reaching … [Continue Reading ...]