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 […]

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

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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 transforming an eight-story office building, originally constructed in 1913, into […]

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

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  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 and, at the same time, rolled out a […]

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

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

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 draw blood from […]

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

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).

  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 the Unions 2016” takes a deep […]

East Side Freedom Library plans solidarity round table Sept. 12

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Join a “thoughtful discussion on solidarity” Sept. 12 at the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul. The forum, timed to coincide loosely with Labor Day, is free and open to the public from 7 to 9 p.m. at 1105 Greenbrier St. Library co-director Peter Rachleff will offer a brief history of the concept of […]

This summer job is a crash course in construction careers

MN Trades Academy grads Romeo Guevara (L) of Harding Senior High and Austin Fink of Open World Learning Academy level scaffolding at the Laborers Training Center in Lino Lakes.

  One by one Friday, graduates of the inaugural MN Trades Academy stepped up to the podium inside IBEW Local 110’s union hall and offered their three favorite construction crafts. Welding was a popular choice – not surprisingly, given the teenage demographic – but there was something for every one of the 20 graduates, who […]

Small business owners voice support for sick-time ordinance in St. Paul

Ward 6 co-owner Eric Foster speaks at a press conference arranged by a coalition of businesses supporting St. Paul's proposed sick-time ordinance.

  At a press conference today, small business owners in St. Paul said passing a citywide sick-time ordinance is the right thing to do – not only for the health of their workers, but also the health of their bottom lines. Providing employees with earned sick and safe time makes them less likely to jump […]

Native pride meets union pride in Cement Masons’ training program

For their final project, participants in Local 633's pre-apprenticeship program finish their own flat concrete slabs with attached curbs.

  NEW BRIGHTON – As the first trickle of mud oozed out of the concrete truck’s chute, 13 trainees dressed in hardhats, safety vests and tall rubber boots sprung into action, using shovels and trowels to distribute the concrete evenly across 13 rectangular slabs. The July heat was pushing 90 degrees, and the trainees, participants […]