Organizing drive pays off for big-box janitors with landmark first contract

What’s the value of a union contract? For nearly 500 retail janitors in the Twin Cities, who made history last year by forming the industry’s first metro-wide union, it’s a cool $4.5 million in wage increases and paid time off over the course of their new, three-year contract. Local 26 of the Service Employees International […]

New report sheds light on ‘state of the unions’ in Minnesota

  Income inequality is on the rise in Minnesota, and disparities between white workers and workers of color continue to widen. Unions are key to reversing both of those trends, according to a new report unveiled just in time for Labor Day. Co-authored by four researchers, “The State of the Unions 2016” takes a deep […]

St. Paul clergy: Citywide earned sick time ordinance makes ‘common sense’

  Faith leaders from St. Paul today gathered in City Hall to support a citywide ordinance guaranteeing workers access to earned sick and safe time. “The scripture says we are one body, and when one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers,” Pastor Ralph Baumgartner said. “And when 42 percent of workers in […]

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 […]

UPDATE: With strike deadline looming, janitors reach landmark tentative pact

    Union janitors in the Twin Cities reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract with area cleaning contractors after a marathon bargaining session ended in the early-morning hours March 7. The settlement prevented janitors from staging a second strike. About 4,000 janitors, 90 percent of whom are people of color, will see […]

Faith leaders on earned sick time: ‘Something’s got to happen’

  Faith leaders from Minneapolis today called on elected officials to begin addressing Minnesota’s alarming racial disparities by guaranteeing all workers access to earned sick and safe time. “This is exactly what systemic racism looks like: reasonable people who say, ‘Our hands are tied … because it’s just too costly to change our system,’” Rev. […]