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 […]

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 […]

Unions, environmental groups brace for lame-duck fight over Trans Pacific pact

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On the night of the third presidential debate, a small group of activists gathered inside a union hall in Minneapolis, but their focus was not on the outcome of the 2016 election. It was on what might happen between Nov. 8 and the inauguration, specifically when it comes to trade. President Obama is expected to […]

During break from negotiations, UFCW members provide lifesaving first aid

Members of the Prescott nursing home bargaining team: (L to R) Kim Nelson, Karen Peterson, Gayla Morrison and Jody Pederson.

Four Prescott Nursing and Rehabilitation Community workers got more than they bargained for during a break from contract negotiations Tuesday in South St. Paul. As Gayla Morrison, Kim Nelson, Jody Pederson and Karen Peterson walked into Angelo’s Italian Restaurant for lunch with their union representative, they noticed a woman hunched over, struggling to breathe. “It […]

Landmark Center gallery revisits Ford plant’s final years

Former UAW Local 879 member Dan Huseby (R) was the only professional photographer granted access to the Ford Plant during its final days of operation.

The Twin Cities Assembly Plant and its workers are the focus of a special photo exhibition hosted by St. Paul’s Landmark Center through Nov. 27. Curated by local author and historian Brian McMahon, the retrospective showcases the work of two local photographers, David Parker and Dan Huseby. Their work helps illustrate McMahon’s forthcoming book, “The […]

Volunteer Pipefitters keep heat on for area low-income, elderly homeowners

Local 455 volunteer Luis Parad, a service professional from NAC, checked for leaks in the radiator of a house on Carroll Avenue in St. Paul.

Volunteer members of St. Paul-based Pipefitters Local 455 serviced and repaired furnaces free of charge to disabled, elderly and low-income homeowners in the Twin Cities area Saturday during their annual HEAT’S ON day of service. The volunteer effort drew 51 volunteer members of Local 455, as well as other Pipefitter locals in Minnesota. Union contractors, […]

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

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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 “quality control” and patient safety at five Allina Health […]