Ten years ago immigrant freedom riders planted the seeds of reform

Immigration reform is on the front burner in Congress this summer, but 10 years ago immigrant “freedom riders,” including some from Minnesota, traveled to Washington to raise awareness of the need for reform, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers. The Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride kicked off its Minnesota leg with an event at […]

Updated: Laborers on strike in Shakopee to protect pension benefits

Union workers at a concrete products manufacturing facility in Shakopee went on strike yesterday, pledging to walk the picket line until Cretex Companies abandons its attempt to strip workers of their pension benefits. Since negotiations on a new contract for 38 members of Laborers Local 563 began in January, Cretex has refused to budge from […]

Apple Valley associate joins nationwide Walmart strike

An associate from Apple Valley is among more than 100 striking Walmart workers nationwide who are protesting outside the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Bentonville, Ark., this week. Gabriel Teneyuque, a member of the grassroots campaign OUR Walmart, joined the “Ride for Respect” to company headquarters last week. The caravan traveled through about 30 cities, […]

Republican governor blasted ‘right to work’ legislation 50 years ago

Fifty years ago, to the surprise of Minnesota’s labor community, Republican Gov. Elmer Anderson offered his opposition to a lethal brand of anti-union legislation unions are still fighting today. The Feb. 14, 1963, issue of The Union Advocate reported Anderson had issued a statement saying he would veto any “compulsory open shop legislation, which usually […]

On Black Friday, hundreds protest outside Walmart in St. Paul

Big-box retailers like Walmart pushed their Black Friday sales to new extremes this year, but retail workers and their supporters are pushing back. More than 200 protesters lined the sidewalk outside Walmart’s University Avenue location in St. Paul today. They pledged to stand with Walmart associates like Gabriel Teneyuque, who protested the company’s low wages […]

Hostess liquidation means layoffs for area outlet store workers

Fallout from Hostess Brands’ decision to cease operations has extended to about 20 union workers in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, who face layoffs as the bankrupt baker begins liquidating its assets. Hostess’ bakery outlet stores, which sell day-old Wonder Bread, Twinkies and other Hostess products, have been shuttering operations gradually since last Friday, when the […]

Lex-Ham Community Theater presents ‘Days to Come’

The Lex-Ham Community Theater will present Lillian Hellman’s drama “Days to Come” in six performances this month at the Wellstone Center on St. Paul’s West Side. The play, directed by John Townsend, is set in 1930s Ohio, and it tells the story of a strike – and the discord it creates within a family-owned business, […]

In Minneapolis, a picket line for striking Houston janitors

The union representing more than 400 striking janitors in Houston is fanning out across the country this week, setting up solidarity picket lines outside buildings cleaned by contractors involved in their dispute back home. In Minneapolis yesterday, about 40 union members and supporters picketed outside U.S. Bancorp Center, which secures its cleaning services through ABM, […]

Union electricians vote to authorize strike

About 1,700 electricians in the East Metro are poised to strike if negotiations between their union and members of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) do not progress in the coming weeks. Members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 110 voted June 8 to reject their employers’ proposal for a new three-year contract. More […]

UPDATE: Health care workers reach agreement with Twin Cities hospitals

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, the union representing 3,500 health care workers at eight Twin Cities hospitals, announced today it has reached a tentative agreement with management, averting a strike authorized by members earlier this week. The union said it would withhold details of the proposed contract until union members had reviewed and voted on it. Voting […]