Shutdown a ‘lose-lose scenario’ for veterans, furloughed workers

Is Stanley Walton’s work essential? That depends on whom you ask. Walton was one of 7,000 “non-essential” employees furloughed by the U.S. Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) today. He and about 150 others reported to the Whipple Federal Building at Fort Snelling, where they were handed letters instructing them to stay home until lawmakers in Washington […]

Gloves come off as orchestra musicians mark one year locked out of their jobs

Since Day 1 the Minnesota Orchestra lockout has been taking a personal toll on musicians. Now, one year into the work stoppage, things are getting personal for the orchestra’s Board of Directors too. Union musicians, members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 30-73, marked the one-year anniversary of the start of their work stoppage […]

Union opposes U.S. Bank CEO’s campaign for Minneapolis Institute of Arts board

Local 26 of the Service Employees International Union announced today it will protest outside the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ annual membership meeting tomorrow, urging members not to elect U.S. Bank CEO Richard Davis to their Board of Trustees. Davis is the immediate past chair of the Minnesota Orchestra’s board. The orchestra has been locking union […]

Community group plans dialogue on Minnesota Orchestra’s future

Orchestrate Excellence, a grassroots group of audience members and business owners working to end the Minnesota Orchestra lockout, will host a community forum, “Our Community’s Commitment to the Minnesota Orchestra,” Aug. 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. The forum will explore the community’s role in supporting the Minnesota Orchestra. […]

Letters to the Editor: Thanks from sugar workers

(This letter was received by Bobby Kasper, president of the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation. In addition to donating funds to the locked-out workers’ cause, the RLF organized two holiday drives, collecting more than $50,000 worth of toys, household supplies and cash donations for sugar workers and their families.) Dear President Bobby Kasper, We would […]

Unions see plenty to like in results of 2013 legislative session

Legislative leaders called 2013 the “education session” for the new investments in E-12 students, and a bill to extend union rights to 21,000 child-care providers and home health care workers grabbed headlines as Republicans tried to filibuster it to death. But the 2013 legislative session yielded many other victories for union members and middle class […]

Cigars, baseball, competitive cocktail mixing and more

[The Union Advocate’s “This Month in the Archives” feature offers a look back at what the newspaper was reporting from 5 to 100 years ago. Our digital archives are online, searchable and free to anyone. Click here for access.] The St. Paul Cigarmakers struck a deal with the St. Paul Saints in May 1913, granting […]

Musicians ratify contract, call for new SPCO leadership

Stressing that they “remain deeply concerned” about the ensemble’s future, musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra today announced their vote to ratify a three-year agreement with the orchestra, officially ending the lockout that began Oct. 21, 2012. The new contract will reduce the size of the SPCO from 34 to 28 musicians. It also […]

As lockout drags on, community group ponders forming new orchestra

A community group working to end the five-month lockout of St. Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians is exploring the possibility of forming a new group to replace the SPCO – and prevent any further losses of SPCO musicians to other orchestras around the country. Save Our SPCO, a grassroots group of patrons and audience members, announced […]

Union agenda includes minimum-wage hike, privacy protections for Minnesota workers

Emboldened by victories won at the polls in November, the state’s largest labor federation will push an ambitious legislative agenda that calls for hiking the state’s minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits for locked-out workers and expanding the freedoms and protections Minnesotans enjoy in the workplace. The Minnesota AFL-CIO, which represents more than 1,000 affiliate unions […]