Lawmakers seek answers as Walmart strains local police time, municipal resources

State Rep. John Lesch, a prosecutor in St. Paul for 15 years, can recite the address from memory: 1450 University Avenue West. That’s Walmart’s Midway location, and it is a magnet for shoplifting and other petty crime that, like several other Walmart stores in Minnesota and across the country, absorbs a disproportionate amount of attention […]

Jeff Couillard: What if retail workers took a two-week break – starting on Black Friday?

It’s that time of year when retail executives get excited about the kind of record profits they will be raking in from mid-November to the end of the year. Retailers have been pushing out their deals earlier and earlier so consumers have more and more choices to cash in on a “super” deal ahead of […]

Protesters say Trump, Walmart share the same values

From selling goods manufactured overseas to avoiding federal taxes, Walmart and Donald Trump have a lot in common. In fact, it’s a connection so strong that Walmart sells products promoting Trump’s presidential campaign on its website. Nearly 50 people connected the dots between Trump and Walmart at a protest Monday in St. Paul’s Midway shopping […]

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 […]

Picketers: Walmart’s raising wages, so why won’t Target?

Activists picketed outside Target Corp.’s headquarters downtown Minneapolis yesterday, calling on CEO Brian Cornell to make raising wages for frontline workers a part of the company’s massive restructuring effort. Organizers of 15 Now, a grassroots movement working to raise the minimum wage in Minneapolis, looked to pressure Target into following the lead of its primary […]

Janitors doubt they’ll benefit from retail wage hikes

The parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls yesterday announced it would copy Walmart’s decision to raise minimum hourly wages for U.S. workers to $9 per hour by June. But a Twin Cities-based worker center cast doubt on whether the change would benefit the low-wage workers who clean those stores. That’s because TJX Cos. contracts […]

Lawmaker calls on Target to follow Walmart’s lead, raise workers’ wages

After relentless pressure from workers and the community, Walmart announced last month it will raise minimum pay for its workers to $9 an hour in April and $10 an hour by February 2016. Now, one Minnesota lawmaker is calling on Minneapolis-based Target to follow Walmart’s lead. Rep. Joe Atkins, lead DFLer on the Minnesota House […]

Fight for $15 strikes: Legal, protected, effective

  From fast food to retail, workers in low-wage jobs around the country, including Minnesota, are increasingly staging short-term, high-profile strikes to advance their movements for higher wages and a voice on the job. Walking off the job in protest is a costly, risky tactic to employ – even for one day. In addition to […]

Black Friday recap: Strikes, marches lift call for higher wages

Demonstrators in the Twin Cities yesterday echoed an expansive call put forth at Black Friday actions across the country to lift workers and their families out of poverty by guaranteeing livable wages, access to earned sick time and a path to forming a union without fear of retaliation. The target of most Black Friday protests […]

Video: Black Friday march in St. Paul

On the biggest shopping day of the year, nearly 500 people in St. Paul demonstrated outside the Midway Walmart, demanding that the retailer pay its associates living wages and stop retaliating against workers organizing for change. Four striking Walmart workers from Apple Valley led a march from Walmart to a nearby McDonald’s, where activists called […]