Teamsters, elected officials call out ‘shady business practices’ at Finish Line Express

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MAPLE GROVE – Heartbreaking, gutless and dishonest were among the ways workers, union leaders and high-ranking elected officials described a Roseville trucking firm’s decision to withhold pay from 90 members of Teamsters Local 120 after abruptly closing the week of Thanksgiving. Out-of-work Teamsters staged a rally last night outside Finish Line Express, a Maple Grove-based […]

Teamsters retirees warn of lame-duck push for legislation gutting pension benefits

Jeff Brooks (R) and Bob McNattin, both retired members of Teamsters Local 120, have been raising awareness among area unions and labor federations about a looming attack on defined-benefit pensions.

They fended off drastic cuts to their pension benefits earlier this year, but Teamsters retirees aren’t resting on their laurels. Instead, they are organizing to stop a new bill gaining momentum in Congress that would weaken, rather than strengthen, the funding of defined-benefit pension plans. It’s known in Washington as the “composite bill,” and retirees […]

Jeff Couillard: What if retail workers took a two-week break – starting on Black Friday?

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It’s that time of year when retail executives get excited about the kind of record profits they will be raking in from mid-November to the end of the year. Retailers have been pushing out their deals earlier and earlier so consumers have more and more choices to cash in on a “super” deal ahead of […]

Union plumbers step up to keep St. Paul Schools’ water safe

Tom McCarthy (R), president of St. Paul Plumbers Local 34, received the thanks of St. Paul school board chair Jon Schumacher during the board’s Nov. 15 meeting.

Union plumbers are stepping up to make sure drinking water is safe for students and staff in the St. Paul Public Schools. The district recently finished testing all water fixtures in its buildings for lead. While more than 95 percent of fixtures passed the initial test, maintenance staff identified 233 fixtures that needed replacing. At […]

#NAW2016: State grant helps East Metro auto dealerships reinvigorate apprenticeship program

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Car dealerships in the East Metro long have offered registered apprenticeship training opportunities to their mechanics, but the number of journey-level workers graduating from the program has declined in recent years. Looking to shift that trend into reverse, East Metro dealerships, state regulators and representatives of the Machinists union met with technical college faculty and […]

#NAW2016: Apprenticeship helps MN manufacturers boost skills, stay competitive

Pictured on the Hood Packaging shop floor in Arden Hills: (L to R) USW’s Gerry Parzino, Beth diGrazia, USW member and apprentice Larteng Kong, apprentice Dave Frisk, USW member and apprentice Andy Ramirez, Mike Ramirez and Local 264 President John O’Neil.

  About 85 percent of registered apprentices in Minnesota are employed in the construction trades, but federal grant funds are helping more of the state’s manufacturers harness the power of apprenticeship to boost their employees’ skills – and remain competitive in a global economy. Hood Packaging is among a growing number of firms taking advantage […]

#NAW2016: Minnesota’s Building Trades apprentices earn paychecks while mastering their craft

Registered apprentices in Plumbers Local 34’s program include (L to R) Tamika Foster-Dixon, Matt Paolo, Joanna Rojas, Jon Antolick, Mitch Gale and Jason Meyer.

  When Joe Odell’s friends plan to go out on Friday nights, he usually takes a pass. It’s not that the 23-year-old from Monticello is no fun, but Odell has someplace important to be early on Saturday mornings: Heat and Frost Insulators Local 34’s training center in St. Paul. Odell is one of the 11,000-plus […]

Area Red Cross workers join AFSCME after first-of-its-kind union drive

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In his 16 years working as a phlebotomist for the American Red Cross, Roy Nodsle had seen union-organizing drives start and sputter before. But last summer, he finally saw one cross the finish line. “I’ve never been union before, but the idea of a group of people having a voice to talk about our workplace […]

In North Branch, union volunteers help build home for disabled veteran’s family

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A partially disabled military veteran and his family own a new home in North Branch, thanks to a little help from East Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity and several Building Trades unions. After a dedication ceremony Oct. 29, Eric and JoAnn Trudeau took ownership of the 1,3252-square-foot home, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a […]

Labor-endorsed candidates back investments in public education, from pre-K to higher ed

Supporters line the sidewalk outside St. Paul Public Schools headquarters during a rally in support of the teachers' contract campaign.

Bold investments in public schools and early learners. Higher education that’s affordable for working families. An aggressive approach to narrowing the achievement gap between white students and students of color. Labor-endorsed candidates have high hopes when it comes to education in Minnesota, but they will need to win a majority in the House – and […]