Cigars, baseball, competitive cocktail mixing and more

[The Union Advocate’s “This Month in the Archives” feature offers a look back at what the newspaper was reporting from 5 to 100 years ago. Our digital archives are online, searchable and free to anyone. Click here for access.] The St. Paul Cigarmakers struck a deal with the St. Paul Saints in May 1913, granting […]

Workers’ compensation passed in Minnesota 100 years ago

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned in April 1913 after nearly three months in session, but not before passing several bills benefiting the state’s workers. The Union Advocate provided a list the Legislature’s accomplishments in it April 25 edition – from establishing a new worker’s compensation system to requiring employers to install safety devices where heavy machinery […]

‘Home Hankies’ fueled seniors’ rally for tax justice

In October 1987, “homer hankies” provided the magic the Minnesota Twins needed to win their first World Series championship. Five months later, Minnesota’s seniors attempted to recapture the magic during a rally for tax fairness at the Capitol. Seniors waved “home hankies,” during an event March 2, 1988, co-sponsored by the Minnesota Senior Federation and […]

Republican governor blasted ‘right to work’ legislation 50 years ago

Fifty years ago, to the surprise of Minnesota’s labor community, Republican Gov. Elmer Anderson offered his opposition to a lethal brand of anti-union legislation unions are still fighting today. The Feb. 14, 1963, issue of The Union Advocate reported Anderson had issued a statement saying he would veto any “compulsory open shop legislation, which usually […]

The economic debate hasn’t changed much in 25 years

Business owners say Minnesota’s economic climate is poor, urging lower tax rates and steep cuts to government spending. Union leaders say Minnesota owes its high quality of life to public investments in education and infrastructure that are a catalyst for economic growth. That’s the debate likely to take place when state lawmakers return to the […]

Strike threw a monkey wrench into Montgomery Ward’s holiday plans 75 years ago

More than 30 workers in St. Paul threw a monkey wrench into Montgomery Ward’s holiday-shopping rush Dec. 6, 1937, walking off the job after management at the mail-order company’s University Avenue plant refused to negotiate with their elected union representative, Warehouse Employees Local 20,297. The picket line drew 300 supporters on the strike’s first day, […]

Fifty years ago, another Romney was bad news for union members

A name certain to be in the headlines this November – for better or for worse – was also in The Union Advocate’s front-page headlines 50 years ago. The top story in the Nov. 16, 1962, edition analyzed the results of gubernatorial races across the country: “Rocky, Romney, Scranton Win Big For GOP; Nixon, Others […]

October 2012: Remember when farmers and union members worked together?

With families across the Midwest struggling to keep their farms out of bank foreclosure, union members rallied with farmers Oct. 10, 1987, at the Heartland Jobs with Justice rally on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. About 40 Minnesotans were among the estimated 1,500 to 1,700 union members at the rally, Union Advocate Editor Barb Kucera reported […]

September 2012: CIO sympathizers routed at statewide AFL convention in ‘37

Delegates to the Minnesota AFL-CIO’s 51st Constitutional Convention will gather in Rochester Sept. 16-18. It is certain to be a much more harmonious affair than the statewide labor convention held in Hibbing 75 years ago, when AFL delegates snuffed out an attempt by “CIO sympathizers” to gain a foothold in the organization. “Minnesota Labor took […]

August 2012: Electrical Workers Local 110 formed a century ago

It’s not a “golden anniversary” – that would be 110 years – but Local 110 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will turn 100 years old this month, and members planned to celebrate July 28 with a picnic on Harriet Island. The St. Paul-based union traces its roots to a division that took place […]