Labor trafficker’s victims speak out, pointing to need for reform

Notorious wage broker Ricardo Batres, who pleaded guilty to felony charges of labor trafficking and insurance fraud in November, received a nine-month sentence in Hennepin County district court Tuesday. The sentencing brought to a close the first labor trafficking case to emerge from Minnesota’s construction industry. But worker advocates, armed with the findings of an […]

Wednesday is Public Post Office Day in Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz issued a proclamation last week declaring Wednesday, Nov. 27, Public Post Office Day in the state of Minnesota. The proclamation, signed by both the governor and Secretary of State Steve Simon, is a token of the state’s gratitude for the U.S. Postal Service and its employees as they brace for a busy […]

To assess care crisis, Walz ‘walks a day’ in PCA’s shoes

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz walked in a home health care worker’s shoes today in St. Paul. The governor helped 41-year-old Jay Spika, who has primary progressive multiple sclerosis, bathe, dress and depart his St. Paul home. Walz worked alongside one of Spika’s home health aides, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota member Deb Howze. The “walk-a-day” event offered […]

Trafficker’s plea deal reveals construction industry ‘in distress,’ advocates say

When a notorious wage broker pleaded guilty to two felony charges in Hennepin County this week, it was welcome news for unions and community groups working to rid Minnesota’s construction industry of labor abuses. “We are grateful that the legal system is holding those who commit wage theft and illegal trafficking of construction workers seriously,” […]

Voters back labor candidates, campaigns in local elections

Candidates carrying the unified labor endorsement performed well in local elections across the East Metro last week, and union members helped pass several school-funding measures as well. The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, endorsed 25 candidates on the ballot in 2019, and 23 won their races. All six school levy and bond referendums endorsed […]

St. Paul’s union-endorsed candidates aim to build on city’s new labor standards

In November 2015, when St. Paul last held regular City Council elections, the city had no earned sick and safe time ordinance on the books, and hardly anyone at City Hall was talking about a $15 minimum wage. What a difference four years make. When voters in St. Paul go back to the polls Nov. […]

Labor gets behind school bonds, levies in East Metro

Organized labor is boosting efforts to fund new investments in several East Metro public school districts, including a record-breaking building referendum in the White Bear Lake Area Schools. Levy and bond referendums empower communities to invest in their schools’ programming, facilities and technology – investments that always pay off in the long run, St. Paul […]

Bill to stop wage theft advances in Minnesota House

New penalties for employers who retaliate against employees, commit wage theft or deny workers access to their payroll information are among the bill’s provisions.

Home care workers push Walz to address ‘crisis of care’ with higher wages

Workforce and demographic trends amount to a crisis, home care workers and clients warn, and addressing it starts with raising wages.

Smith pledges to fight for federal workers as shutdown hits home

The senator met with impacted federal workers at the airport today and called on Republicans to put people before the president’s political stunts.