Union members rally in Minneapolis to end shutdown

  Tomorrow, tens of thousands of federal employees won’t get their regularly scheduled paychecks. Today, their union family rallied in Minneapolis – and cities across the U.S. – to say that’s not OK. Dozens of union members and retirees joined a demonstration along Hiawatha Avenue, just blocks from the Veterans Administration Medical Center. They called […]

Retirees push lawmakers to stay vigilant for lame-duck attack on pension rights

  Two years ago, Congress opened the door for troubled pension funds to cut retirees’ benefits, after Rep. John Kline slipped the provision into a must-pass bill keeping the federal government open. Now, with Congress poised to pass a similar stopgap bill, Kline is back with another “pension reform” bill, and it’s just as bad […]

Teamsters retirees warn of lame-duck push for legislation gutting pension benefits

They fended off drastic cuts to their pension benefits earlier this year, but Teamsters retirees aren’t resting on their laurels. Instead, they are organizing to stop a new bill gaining momentum in Congress that would weaken, rather than strengthen, the funding of defined-benefit pension plans. It’s known in Washington as the “composite bill,” and retirees […]

Ellison to U of M researchers: Use collective action to reverse dwindling federal support

  Frontline researchers alerted U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison to the impacts of dwindling federal and institutional support for their work in a meeting at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities yesterday. Ellison, a DFLer whose 5th District includes the Twin Cities campus, pledged to continue supporting research funding in Congress, and he praised U […]

Public finally gets a look at TPP – and it isn’t pretty

Labor, environmental and other fair-trade activists are getting their first look at the Tran-Pacific Partnership, released to the public overnight. Their initial reaction? It’s worse than expected. “It’s absolutely not a progressive trade deal,” Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition director Kaela Berg said after an early analysis of the text. “It’s clear that TPP will perpetuate […]

Not So Fast: Unions ramp up pressure on Congress to stop fast track

More than a year after sending proponents of fast track back to the drawing board, Congress is poised to consider a modified version of the trade measure this spring. But unions and their allies in the fair-trade movement say the “new” fast track bill amounts to little more than lipstick on a pig. Like previous […]

AFL-CIO halts PAC contributions, gears up for battle to stop fast track

Upping the ante in its campaign to stop trade agreements that give corporations more power over the global economy, the AFL-CIO announced today it would freeze all contributions to federal lawmakers’ Political Action Committees and focus, instead, on a ground battle against fast track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The nation’s largest labor federation announced the […]

Franken blasts GOP effort to undermine union election reforms

video via The Uptake U.S. Sen. Al Franken took a stand Tuesday against a Republican-led effort to block reforms poised to streamline and modernize the process for determining union representation in most workplaces. In a speech on the Senate floor, the Minnesota DFLer defended new rules approved by the National Labor Relations Board last year. […]

Transit workers enlist riders in fight for better public transportation

It’s Transit Action Month nationwide, and Metro Transit workers and riders took action today downtown Minneapolis, calling for “more, better and safer public transit” during a lunchtime rally outside the Hennepin County Government Center. Coordinated by Local 1005 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), the “Transit Tuesday” event drummed up support for a bipartisan bill […]

Josh Wise: Trade Promotion Authority puts U.S. on fast track to more job losses

When are Keith Ellison and Michele Bachmann on the same side of an issue? When it comes to standing up for separation of powers and Congress’ ability to oversee trade policy that has a massive effect on us as constituents. In separate letters released Nov. 13, Rep. Bachmann and all five Democratic house members from […]