Ruling deals blow to faculty union drive at U’s Twin Cities campus

A Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling issued yesterday dealt a setback to faculty members organizing a union at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus, who are now weighing an appeal to the state’s Supreme Court. The ruling overturned a decision by the Bureau of Mediation Services, which oversees public employee labor disputes in Minnesota, […]

St. Paul fast-food workers strike for $15 on Labor Day

Striking fast-food workers rallied with supporters outside a St. Paul McDonald’s this morning, demanding $15 per hour and respect on the job. “We need something to live on,” said 27-year-old Tay Polite, on strike from her job at McDonald’s in the city’s Midway district. “Even with a job we’re still struggling to support our families. […]

Local organizer glimpses challenge of building worker power in South

Lured by generous tax incentives and low wages, foreign automakers have steadily increased their footprint in Southern states over the last two decades. Their employees earn less than union members at the Big Three domestic automakers, but attempts to organize workers in the South’s new, foreign-owned plants have almost always failed. The most recent defeat […]

Home care workers ratify new contract, urge lawmakers to get serious about looming care crisis

Union members who provide in-home health services to clients across Minnesota have ratified a new contract with the state that will lift wages, provide holiday pay, boost paid-time off and expand training opportunities for an estimated 27,000 home care workers statewide. The new contract, home care workers’ second since voting to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota […]

New worker center reaches out to poultry, packinghouse workers in Minnesota

The Hardman Avenue Workers Center, located at the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189 hall in South St. Paul, opened with a celebration and free citizenship workshops for immigrant workers last week. The goal of the initiative, Local 1189 organizing director Abraham Wangnoo said, is to “start teaching people what their rights are,” particularly […]

Retirees plan action-oriented conference to build power, resist attacks

The Minnesota State Retiree Council and allied organizations will hold a conference May 6 entitled “Family Security and Retiree Power in a Time of Crisis,” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Minnesota Nurses Association, 345 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. Organizers plan an “action-oriented discussion about resisting attacks on affordable health care, our pensions […]

Unions gaining public favor, losing ground in workplace

Union members are becoming increasingly scarce in the U.S. labor force. It’s a trend that continued in 2016, when union density fell from 11.1 to 10.7 percent of the total workforce, according to federal report issued in January. Unions’ demise has assumed an aura of inevitability. So when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its […]

Organizing drive pays off for big-box janitors with landmark first contract

What’s the value of a union contract? For nearly 500 retail janitors in the Twin Cities, who made history last year by forming the industry’s first metro-wide union, it’s a cool $4.5 million in wage increases and paid time off over the course of their new, three-year contract. Local 26 of the Service Employees International […]

In victory for worker-led opposition, Puzder backs out of Labor post

Robotics enthusiast and fast food CEO Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration as labor secretary today, less than 24 hours before a Senate committee was scheduled to hold his confirmation hearing. I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor. I'm honored to have been considered and am grateful to all who have supported me. — […]

‘End run’ around local sick-pay victories advances at Capitol

Corporate special interests clashed with working people during a Capitol hearing last night on legislation that would roll back ordinances extending earned sick and safe time to an estimated 150,000 workers in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The local preemption bill, authored by Rep. Pat Garafalo (R-Farmington), passed its first committee hearing after a lengthy round […]