Learning Jet classroom gets lift from Trades apprentices, volunteers

The Learning Jet has been wowing kids since the cargo plane-turned-classroom opened at St. Paul’s Downtown Airport two years ago. The facility’s portable restrooms, on the other hand, have drawn a much different reaction. That will change when the Learning Jet’s expanded space opens next spring, thanks in part to volunteers and apprentices from area […]

Teachers look beyond ‘cookie-cutter’ signs and banners with community art build

Teachers in St. Paul are throwing out the playbook in contract negotiations with the district this year. Banners, signs and posters in the union’s storage closet are on the way out, too. Educators, parents, students and community stakeholders will work together on new, artist-designed signs and banners this weekend at a “community art build” co-hosted […]

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 […]

U.S. negotiators following TPP script in NAFTA 2.0 talks, observers warn

Two months into NAFTA renegotiation talks, the process is looking awfully familiar to labor and fair-trade observers – and not in a good way. When his trade representatives opened talks with Canada and Mexico in August, President Trump pledged to deliver “a better deal for our workers.” But so far, Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition Director […]

Volunteer Pipefitters keep heat on for homeowners in need

Over 100 low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners in Minnesota received free furnace repairs and inspections Saturday, thanks to union pipefitters and their contractors. Project Heat’s On, in it’s 31st year, drew volunteers from local unions in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Rochester and St. Cloud. In the Twin Cities, 90 members of St. Paul Pipefitters Local 455 […]

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. […]

Builders past, present honored for work on Minnesota’s Capitol

Renee Gisch brought her grandchildren to the Capitol so they could see the restoration work she and hundreds of other tradespeople did over the last four years. Nearby, Daniel Reibestein and his mother, Donna, paid tribute to the work his great grandfather put into the landmark building’s original construction more than a century ago. Construction […]

Solidarity puts historic referendum campaign in North Branch over the top

We all do better when we work together. That’s the lesson teachers and support staff in the North Branch Area Schools learned from the district’s first successful referendum campaign in at least 15 years. And it was a valuable lesson, as voters in a special election May 23 approved all three of District 138’s funding […]

Nurses buy – and forgive – $2.6 million in medical debt for Minnesotans

Twin Cities community members overwhelmingly supported Allina nurses during their historic strike last year. Today, members of the Minnesota Nurses Association offered a thank-you gift for that support, purchasing and forgiving the past-due accounts of 1,800 families facing a combined $2.6 million in medical debt. MNA, a union of more than 20,000 registered nurses, located […]

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 […]