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 […]

Photos: Labor, faith, community activists stand up for sick time, resist corporate interference

The Minnesota House passed a bill last night that would strip 150,000 Minnesotans of newly won earned-sick-and-safe-time benefits and block local governments from raising labor standards in their communities. As debate raged inside the Republican-controlled House, opponents from labor, faith and community groups rallied outside the chamber, calling the bill a corporate power grab and […]

As local preemption debate heats up, new book charts CA city’s progressive renewal

Mayoral elections are on the horizon in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Corporate lobbyists at the Minnesota Capitol are taking aim at local ordinances expanding access to earned sick and safe time. The timing, it seems, couldn’t be better for author Steve Early’s book reading and discussion at 7 p.m. March 7 at the East […]

‘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 […]

Teamsters say U of M policy punishes dining workers who use earned sick time

  On the steps of Morrill Hall Tuesday, front-line staff at the University of Minnesota rallied with other U of M workers, including faculty members seeking a union vote, to protest an attendance policy that, workers say, unfairly disciplines them for getting sick. Teamsters Local 320, which organized the rally, represents food-service workers at the […]

Dayton’s final two years create window of opportunity for progress, unions say

During the 2015 legislative session, a group of DFLers in the Minnesota Legislature put forth a bold set of proposals for paid family leave, earned sick and safe time, fair scheduling and protections to ensure people get paid for their work. They called it the “Working Parents Act,” and it went absolutely nowhere. “We couldn’t […]

Bobby Kasper: Solidarity is alive and thriving in St. Paul

  Last month at the East Side Freedom Library, I joined a roundtable discussion with historians, artists, trade unionists and community activists on the subject of solidarity. It was a lively, challenging and essential dialogue, and it served as another reminder of how fortunate we are in St. Paul to have a space like the […]

Council vote gives St. Paul nation’s strongest earned sick time ordinance

Members of the St. Paul City Council today voted 7-0 to pass an ordinance hailed by working people, small business owners, clergy members and other advocates as the strongest earned sick and safe time law on the books nationwide. Mayor Chris Coleman immediately indicated he would support the ordinance, making St. Paul the 35th U.S. […]

Small business owners voice support for sick-time ordinance in St. Paul

  At a press conference today, small business owners in St. Paul said passing a citywide sick-time ordinance is the right thing to do – not only for the health of their workers, but also the health of their bottom lines. Providing employees with earned sick and safe time makes them less likely to jump […]

Task force recommends extending sick pay to 70,000 workers in St. Paul

  St. Paul’s task force on earned sick and safe time has issued its recommendations, and they include requiring employers to provide workers with one hour of sick time for every 30 hours they work, with sick-time earnings capped at 48 hours per year. If adopted by the city’s elected officials, the policy would extend […]