Roy Magnuson: Labor unity is key as St. Paul turns the page

An intense St. Paul election cycle ended with a decisive win for Melvin Carter as mayor and similarly decisive wins for John Brodrick, Jeannie Foster and Marny Xiong in the school board race. Labor was a united force in the less prominent school board race, and a split force in the mayor’s race. With the […]

AFSCME Council 5’s founding director to step down – but keep fighting

Eliot Seide was even more fired up than usual when he sat down for a Thursday-morning interview at AFSCME Council 5’s South St. Paul offices last month. News had just broken that the U.S. Supreme Court would hear a case with the potential to weaken public-sector workers’ collective bargaining power, and it had Seide and […]

Bobby Kasper: Union candidates share our values, amplify our voice

Every election cycle our unions interview and consider endorsing candidates for public office, from local school boards and city councils to the Legislature and Congress. We want to know which candidates share our values. We want to know who stands with us on issues that matter to working families, like affordable health care, quality schools […]

Bobby Kasper: On Labor Day, let’s celebrate our freedom to join together

This Labor Day is more important than ever for working families across this country. Union members can take back their freedom by getting out there and taking action. We must get out there and organize our union membership. We need to have a strong commitment to internally organizing our union membership. We must talk to […]

Bernie Hesse: ‘Don’t do something out of charity, do it out of solidarity’

He is gruff and often combative, principled and usually blunt. But above all else, Bernie Hesse is a trade unionist. From his days as a grocery clerk to his current work as director of special projects for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189, Hesse has made himself ubiquitous in St. Paul’s labor community. If […]

Erik Brandt: An open letter to Macalester College (and its peers)

I’d like to tell you about my long-time colleague, Amy. Over the last 20 years at Harding High School in St. Paul, I have watched Amy work tirelessly with thousands of our fantastic students – nearly all of whom are low-income, minority, first generation to attend college – to help them navigate the college acceptance […]

Denise Rodriguez: ‘Our contract is the most powerful tool we have’

When she and her friends played school as kids, Denise Rodriguez was always the teacher. As a teenager she dreamed of teaching Spanish at Harding High School, just like her favorite teacher. Now Rodriguez, president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers for the last three years, is set to retire June 12 after 39 […]

Rose Roach: Let’s bring back sanity, fairness and compassion

Our wealth is being stolen from us. We are being robbed of our opportunity to better our plight. This isn’t some liberal conspiracy “theory” – it’s an actual conspiracy. Public education is being defunded so only those with money can get a “good” education for their children. The cost of college is so high that […]

Ken Peterson: On Workers Memorial Day we remember the dead, fight for the living

Four workers from St. Louis will not be alive to observe Workers Memorial Day on April 28 this year. Their unnecessary deaths earlier in the month are a stark reminder that despite calls for cutting back government regulations, we cannot allow workplace safety standards or enforcement to be reduced. At about 7:30 a.m., Monday, April […]

‘We are being distracted by a showman who throws these tweets out’

Robert Roach Jr.’s career as a labor leader began shortly after he went to work for Trans World Airlines in 1975, when he joined a fight to improve the conditions of new employees at the now-defunct airline. He hasn’t stopped fighting since. After rising through the ranks of the International Association of Machinists, Roach retired […]