News

FIVE CONSTRUCTION UNION LEADERS URGE DAKOTA PIPELINE GO-AHEAD

(By Mark Gruenberg, PAI Staff Writer) Five construction union leaders, who have a combined 8,000 members working to build the Dakota Access Pipeline, are urging Democratic President Barack Obama to reverse agency rulings and let the oil pipeline project go ahead. Read more »

NEW PRO-WORKER RULES TO BENEFIT MILLIONS

(By Mark Gruenberg, PAI Staff Writer)  New pro-worker rules, announced in late September and the beginning of October by Obama administration agencies, have the potential to benefit millions of workers in coming years. Predictably, radical right House Republicans screamed about them.

The rules would particularly aid low-wage and exploited workers, said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, whose agency unveiled one key final rule, ordering firms that get federal contracts to establish paid sick and family leave for their employees. Read more »

Volunteer Pipefitters keep heat on for area low-income, elderly homeowners

(Union Advocate) Volunteer members of St. Paul-based Pipefitters Local 455 serviced and repaired furnaces free of charge to disabled, elderly and low-income homeowners in the Twin Cities area Saturday during their annual HEAT’S ON day of service. Read more »

With Lowertown development, union pension fund invests in Building Trades workers

(Union AdvocateThe AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust treated the men and women working to redevelop a property in St. Paul’s Lowertown district to lunch Aug. 31, highlighting the trust’s unique approach to investing union pension funds in union-built construction projects. The development, 333 on the Park, is transforming an eight-story office building, originally constructed in 1913, into an apartment building with 134 market-rate units. Read more »

Commentary: What's wrong with 'Right to Work'

See video

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich has been a longtime proponent of unions and the power of people to unite in their workplaces to improve their lives."We have to increase, not reduce, the bargaining power of average people," he says. In this video, he explains one of the most misunderstood labor-management issues of our time: so-called "right-to-work" laws. They are, he says, all about reducing power for workers and increasing profits for corporations.

A Public Service Website to Protect Construction Standards

The public has the right to expect that Minnesota’s construction contractors will comply with the law when working on government projects.  That expectation led to the 2015 enactment of the Responsible Contractor Law, which requires contractors on public projects to satisfy the minimum legal criteria to work on public projects. This law has definitely caught the attention of those contractors who previously corrected wage violations with only restitution payments, before returning to the public bidding arena consequence free. Read more »

Dakota Access Pipeline Provides High-Quality Jobs

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline: The AFL-CIO supports pipeline construction as part of a comprehensive energy policy that creates jobs, makes the United States more competitive and addresses the threat of climate change. Pipelines are less costly, more reliable and less energy intensive than other forms of transporting fuels, and pipeline construction and maintenance provides quality jobs to tens of thousands of skilled workers. Read more »

LABORERS’ ‘CLEAN POWER PROGRESS’ CAMPAIGN PUSHES NATURAL GAS PIPELINES TO AVOID U.S. ENERGY CRUNCH

Saying the U.S. faces a looming energy crunch as nuclear power plants shut down and coal-fired electric plants are taken offline, the Laborers have launched a “Clean Power Progress” campaign for more natural gas pipelines as a way to fill U.S. energy needs. Their drive, started this summer, focuses on a pipeline running through Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Michigan. If built, the pipeline would transport natural gas not just to consumers in those states, but also elsewhere in the U.S., the union says. Read more »

"In Minnesota, red tape is strangling projects like Sandpiper pipeline"

Dayton streamlined the environmental permit process. Why is it taking so long?

By Jason George, Matthew Gordon and Joan Lee (Star Tribune Editorial)

Minnesota has forgotten its roots when it comes to environmental permitting Read more »

This summer job is a crash course in construction careers

(Union Advocate) One by one Friday, graduates of the inaugural MN Trades Academy stepped up to the podium inside IBEW Local 110’s union hall and offered their three favorite construction crafts. Welding was a popular choice – not surprisingly, given the teenage demographic – but there was something for every one of the 20 graduates, who spent nine weeks this summer working as paid interns, touring the apprenticeship centers of 16 local Building Trades unions. Read more »