Union plumbers provide help for Minnesota homeowners in need

On one Saturday each year, hundreds of Minnesota plumbers step up to improve the lives of members of their communities through the Water’s Off program. These union volunteers fix plumbing problems for elderly, disabled and low-income homeowners, reducing their water consumption and their water bills. The 2012 Water’s Off event March 31 drew a total […]

Organizing Institute plans Minnesota training in June

The AFL-CIO Organizing Institute and the Minnesota AFL-CIO will host a three-day training for union member organizers in St. Paul from June 8 to 10. Unions and labor federations affiliated with the national AFL-CIO are able to sponsor members to this training, which is designed to equip member activists and member organizers with basic organizing […]

Prevailing Wage is good for workers, contractors and taxpayers

Editor’s note: Harry Melander is president of the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council, a position he has held since 2009. He also has served as executive secretary of the St. Paul Building and Trades Council since 2006. Melander wrote this column for the May 2012 Union Advocate. As Minnesotans, we expect our tax […]

With a new levy secured, District #622 turns its back on union workers

When the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School Board needed help building public support for its operating levy last fall, it reached out to the teachers’ union and other employee bargaining units. The district’s union workers made thousands of phone calls, knocked doors and provided the force behind a levy campaign that won support from 70 percent […]

Writer takes aim at U.S. immigration policy

Something critical gets lost amid all the hysteria and bluster that passes for immigration policy debate in the U.S., according to prominent labor photojournalist David Bacon. That something, he said in a lecture April 12 in St. Paul, is this: “We’re talking about human beings.” If politicians really wanted to reform U.S. immigration policy, Bacon […]

On Tax Day, unions lead call for banks to pay their fair share

When it comes to avoiding taxes, Wells Fargo appears to know every loophole in the book. The banking giant has received nearly $18 billion in tax breaks over the last three years, including $681 million in federal tax refunds. Now, a growing number of people – those of us without access to offshore tax shelters […]

Trans-Pacific Partnership is the latest free-trade scheme

Editor’s Note: Josh Wise is director of the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition, which advocates for trade policies that benefit working people and the environment. He wrote this “Labor Voices” column for the April 2012 Union Advocate. Those of you who fighting for good jobs know that so called “free trade agreements,” like NAFTA, have made […]

Workers stage solidarity demonstration outside Verizon Store in Roseville

Workers and their supporters from across the Twin Cities staged a demonstration outside the Verizon Store in Roseville today as part of the Communications Workers of America’s “Verizon National Day of Action.” The demonstration drew more than 30 people, who held signs and banners warning consumers about Verizon’s corporate greed. About 45,000 union members at […]

Rental-car workers at MSP airport vote to form a union

By a 3-to-1 margin, employees of GCA Services Group at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport voted yesterday in favor of forming a union. The 162 workers will be represented by Teamsters Local 120. GCA Services Group is a contractor that provides rental-car companies with services like shuttling, cleaning and detailing their rental vehicles. Yohannes Asfaw, a […]

Workers crowd State Capitol for first hearing on Right to Work

As state lawmakers at the Capitol held the session’s first hearing on a proposed Right to Work(RTW) constitutional amendment today, hundreds of workers from across the state – and across the political spectrum – demonstrated in opposition to the controversial measure, calling it unsafe, unfair and unnecessary for Minnesota. Spectator seating for the 8 a.m. […]