Dave Kamper: Missed opportunity 50 years ago offers insight into labor’s current challenges

The Union Advocate recently reported that Local 1189 of the UFCW has rejected a so-called “final offer” in negotiations with the owners of Cub, Rainbow, Lunds & Byerly’s, and other major retail grocers in the East Metro. Notably absent from the negotiations, of course, are two of the largest grocery retailers in the Metro, Wal-Mart […]

Friedrichs is history (maybe), but Minnesota workers aren’t letting their guard down

  Labor History Month kicked off in St. Paul last night with a discussion of history in the making, as panelists offered insight into public-sector workers’ recent push to breath new life into their unions and defend their right to a voice on the job. The public forum, titled “The Friedrichs Case and the Future […]

A ‘labor hall for the community,’ East Side Freedom Library off to promising start

Since the 99-year-old Carnegie library at Greenbrier and Jessamine reopened as the East Side Freedom Library last year, it’s hosted concerts and film screenings, lectures and panel discussions, an economics workshop and a Juneteenth celebration. The independent, nonprofit library is becoming the center of grassroots community activity, history and storytelling that East Siders Peter Rachleff […]

Marker honoring fallen Minneapolis Teamsters to be dedicated July 18

After a lengthy fundraising campaign, the Remember 1934 Committee will unveil a permanent plaque July 18 in the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis commemorating the historic Teamsters strikes that echoed across the U.S. – and made Minneapolis a union town. The committee will host an unveiling and celebration at 11 a.m. July 18 at the […]

Leading scholars to discuss past, present and future of labor movement

The East Side Freedom Library will host a conversation on labor history July 18 with two of the nation’s leading activist scholars in the field. The event is free and open to all. University of California at Santa Barbara professors Eileen Boris and Nelson Lichtenstein will lead the informal conversation. Boris and Lichtenstein “have produced […]

Films, stories, lectures celebrate Black History Month at East Side Freedom Library

The East Side Freedom Library will mark Black History Month with a series of free, public programs at 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul. “Brooklyn Castles” (flier). St. Paul Federation of Teachers Local 28 will co-sonsor a screening and discussion of the film, which follows students at an impoverished school who win national championships in chess, […]

Fundraising push supports Nellie Stone Johnson bust in Capitol

Nellie Stone Johnson, the Minnesota-born labor and civil-rights activist, left a legacy of “firsts.” Now, Minnesotans have an opportunity to add to that legacy by making Johnson the first woman, first African American and first labor leader honored with a bust in the State Capitol. The Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton last session authorized honoring […]

East Side Freedom Library announces film series, major grant funding

Saint Paul’s East Side Freedom Library has received a $25,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support a founding, large-scale arts project in the Phalen neighborhood’s Beaux Arts Carnegie Library. The grant, library co-directors Peter Rachleff and Beth Cleary said, will contribute to the re-purposing of the library building as […]

Freedom Library presents ‘Making St. Paul Work for Working People’

The history of St. Paul, its neighborhoods and its workers are intertwined. The struggles waged by organized labor helped knit a strong social fabric and vibrant local economy. Local historians next month will host “Making St. Paul Work for Working People,” a discussion of four exemplary St. Paul labor leaders, the movements they helped build […]

East Side Freedom Library program to consider Labor Day’s origins

The East Side Freedom Library will host “The History of Labor Day,” a free, public event to explore how Labor Day became a holiday, from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 28. The event will feature readings from historic labor speeches, music and solidarity. The East Side Freedom Library is a new, independent library focused on […]