Labor trafficker’s victims speak out, pointing to need for reform

Notorious wage broker Ricardo Batres, who pleaded guilty to felony charges of labor trafficking and insurance fraud in November, received a nine-month sentence in Hennepin County district court Tuesday. The sentencing brought to a close the first labor trafficking case to emerge from Minnesota’s construction industry. But worker advocates, armed with the findings of an […]

Bobby Kasper: The strength of our union family is solidarity

It’s the time of year when families gather together to celebrate the holidays. Those gatherings take many different forms. Sometimes we gather as a nuclear family, just parents and their children. Other times we gather with our extended family, bringing together the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or in-laws. The ties that bind us together as […]

Kasper to retire, Peterson elected to lead St. Paul labor federation

The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation will have new leadership in the coming new year. After a decade in office, RLF President Bobby Kasper will retire at the end of December, a decision he made official at the federation’s delegate meeting Dec. 11. Kasper, a “proud” member of LIUNA Laborers Local 563, has served as […]

MSP catering workers protest on busy travel day

Their rallying cry: “One job should be enough.”

Wednesday is Public Post Office Day in Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz issued a proclamation last week declaring Wednesday, Nov. 27, Public Post Office Day in the state of Minnesota. The proclamation, signed by both the governor and Secretary of State Steve Simon, is a token of the state’s gratitude for the U.S. Postal Service and its employees as they brace for a busy […]

To assess care crisis, Walz ‘walks a day’ in PCA’s shoes

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz walked in a home health care worker’s shoes today in St. Paul. The governor helped 41-year-old Jay Spika, who has primary progressive multiple sclerosis, bathe, dress and depart his St. Paul home. Walz worked alongside one of Spika’s home health aides, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota member Deb Howze. The “walk-a-day” event offered […]

Trafficker’s plea deal reveals construction industry ‘in distress,’ advocates say

When a notorious wage broker pleaded guilty to two felony charges in Hennepin County this week, it was welcome news for unions and community groups working to rid Minnesota’s construction industry of labor abuses. “We are grateful that the legal system is holding those who commit wage theft and illegal trafficking of construction workers seriously,” […]

IBEW 110’s growing minority caucus hooks up Habitat house in Faribault

Saturday was a national day of service for the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus, and 25 volunteers from St. Paul-based Local 110 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers spent the morning roughing in a Habitat for Humanity home in Faribault. The service project brought together journey-level workers, apprentices and their family members. Volunteer turnout was […]

To open more eyes to apprenticeship, Carpenters open training center doors

Latesha Hayes’ career path came full circle this morning. A fourth-year apprentice with the Carpenters union, Hayes was one of six tradeswomen who led 33 eighth-grade girls from Roseville on a tour of the union’s St. Paul training center. The students put on hard hats and safety glasses, worked with tools of the trade and […]

Voters back labor candidates, campaigns in local elections

Candidates carrying the unified labor endorsement performed well in local elections across the East Metro last week, and union members helped pass several school-funding measures as well. The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, endorsed 25 candidates on the ballot in 2019, and 23 won their races. All six school levy and bond referendums endorsed […]