Photos: Unions join 2016 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade

Union families put their pride on display yesterday at the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade in downtown Minneapolis. The Minnesota AFL-CIO has organized a contingent in the annual parade, part of the Twin Cities Pride Festival, for years. Turnout was particularly strong this year in the wake of the June 12 mass shooting inside a […]

AFSCME members defend public services during annual lobbying day

  No one knows more about public services in Minnesota than the workers who deliver them, and state lawmakers had access to an abundance of wisdom today during AFSCME Council 5’s annual lobbying blitz. “The experts in public service are coming to the Capitol,” Council 5 Director Eliot Seide said at the close of a […]

Drazkowski threatens to derail state contracts with Right to Work ‘poison pill’

  It’s fair to say state Rep. Steve Drazkowski has a reputation for advancing extreme ideas. He’s supported logging in Minnesota’s state parks and eliminating the Pay Equity Act, even floated the idea of replacing health care workers with baby monitors. The Mazeppa Republican is at it again this session, inserting Wisconsin-style Right to Work […]

Supreme Court ruling a fragile victory for public workers, unions say

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday rejected an attempt by corporate interests to weaken public-sector workers’ unions and, in the process, undermine the public services they provide. The court’s decision in Friedrichs v. CTA is a victory for “teachers, nurses, firefighters and public-service workers nationwide,” said Eliot Seide, director of AFSCME Council 5, which represents 43,000 […]

Unions praise Dayton’s approach to building a ‘state that works for everyone’

In his State of the State Address last night, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton called on legislators to join him in addressing the state’s racial and geographic disparities, and in making needed investments in public education, transportation and infrastructure. Afterward, union leaders from across the state praised Dayton’s speech. Education Minnesota President Denise Specht called Dayton […]

In Minnesota, public-sector workers building power from the inside out

They may no longer be on the brink of a Supreme Court-imposed Right-to-Work rule, but Minnesota’s public-sector union members aren’t celebrating. They’re organizing. “What we got was a reprieve, not clemency – and surely not a pardon,” Education Minnesota attorney Meg Luger-Nikolai warned a standing-room-only audience of activists last night at the East Side Freedom […]

Fight for $15 putting upward pressure where it’s needed – on wages

Currents across the country created a wave of support for $15 as a just minimum wage last year, with fast-food workers in New York and airport workers in Seattle scoring high-profile victories in the so-called “Fight for $15.” But the rising tide is lifting wages for local workers as well, including some who carry union […]

Workers see corporate power grab behind court case challenging their union rights

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in a case with big implications for Minnesota firefighters, teachers and other public-sector workers who benefit from the collective bargaining process. At a press conference inside the Firefighters Hall and Museum in Minneapolis today, public workers warned that the case, Friedrichs v. CTA, is an attempt by corporate […]

U of M relents in contract talks as workers stick together for raises and respect

Frontline workers at the University of Minnesota stood together for nearly six months, waging a contract campaign for raises and respect. Now that strategy is paying off, as three bargaining units – Teamsters Local 320 and AFSCME Locals 3800 and 3801 – have announced tentative agreements with the U that include 2 percent wage increases, equitable family […]

Students, teachers, unions urge lawmakers to invest state budget surplus

  The projected $1.2 billion state budget surplus, announced by state officials today, creates an opportunity for lawmakers to strengthen communities and continue growing Minnesota’s middle class in the 2016 legislative session, union members and allies said. And the first place lawmakers should look to invest is education. That’s the message three Metro-area legislators heard […]