Trades push Royal Credit Union to ditch contractor accused of underpaying immigrant workers

Efforts to stop worker exploitation in the Twin Cities construction industry continued to gain momentum today, as construction unions called out Royal Credit Union for using an out-of-state masonry contractor accused by watchdog groups of underpaying immigrant laborers. As the credit union cut the ribbon inside a newly acquired and refurbished branch in Inver Grove […]

Workers seek commitment from developers to build with ‘dignity and respect’

As allegations of wage theft continue to bubble up from the Twin Cities’ nonunion construction industry, a worker-led initiative aims to partner with developers to keep labor abuses off their job sites. After months of behind-the-scenes planning and organizing, construction workers this week publicly invited local developers to join the Building Dignity and Respect (BDR) […]

Wilfs’ company turned deaf ear to warnings of wage theft at Viking Lakes development

Tradespeople who worked on the Viking Lakes luxury apartments in Eagan went public last week with accusations of wage theft on the project, owned and developed by the same family that owns the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Worker advocacy groups, including the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters (NCSRCC), pinned responsibility for the alleged labor […]

County attorneys take aim at criminal wage theft

“It’s not a clerical mistake; people are actually stealing,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said. “And I think this is one of those areas that needs improvement to make sure these cases get the attention of the justice system.”

Union carpenters spotlight tax fraud in construction industry

Payroll fraud drains $136 million from state coffers each year in Minnesota alone, according to one recent study.

As session begins, Minnesota unions see opportunity for investments in infrastructure, frontline workers

It’s a bonding year, but a record budget surplus and unspent federal pandemic relief funds could allow for more broad spending measures, including long-delayed compensation for frontline workers.

Senate GOP ousts MN labor commissioner, plays politics with worker health, safety

Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy called the party-line vote a “slap in the face to working Minnesotans.”

Labor trafficker’s victims speak out, pointing to need for reform

Notorious wage broker Ricardo Batres, who pleaded guilty to felony charges of labor trafficking and insurance fraud in November, received a nine-month sentence in Hennepin County district court Wednesday. The sentencing brought to a close the first labor trafficking case to emerge from Minnesota’s construction industry. But worker advocates, armed with the findings of an […]

Trafficker’s plea deal reveals construction industry ‘in distress,’ advocates say

When a notorious wage broker pleaded guilty to two felony charges in Hennepin County this week, it was welcome news for unions and community groups working to rid Minnesota’s construction industry of labor abuses. “We are grateful that the legal system is holding those who commit wage theft and illegal trafficking of construction workers seriously,” […]

Carpenters say prominent developer turns blind eye to abuse allegations

What might have been a routine redevelopment deal instead prompted members of the Roseville City Council last month to weigh their oversight responsibilities when it comes to developers reaping tax benefits from the northern suburb. During a final round of public comment on an arrangement between the city and Reuter Walton Companies, two carpenters stepped […]