News

As weather turns cooler, volunteer Pipefitters keep the heat on

Project Heat’s On, the Twin Cities Pipefitters’ volunteer effort to service and clean furnaces for low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners, celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, and the mayors of both cities issued official proclamations declaring “Heat’s On Day” in their communities.

Since the start of the program in 1986, Heat’s On – which stands for “Handicapped and Elderly Assistance to Service Our Neighbors” – union pipefitters have volunteered more than 28,000 work hours, servicing furnaces in more than 6,700 households. Read more »

Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future

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Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton has written a new book about our economic mess. AFTERSHOCK may well be the most important book written on the current economic crisis. I say this because it offers a critical insight that I have seen in very few other places: The fundamental cause of our problems is the relentless drive toward income concentration. Read more »

Market Recovery in the Heartland

On September 22, Mark Paulos made a presentation to Business Managers, Lobbyists and Organizers who are affiliated with the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council. Mark is Executive Director of the Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting (IIIFFC). Harry Melander, President of MN BCTC, invited Mr. Paulos to summarize what the IIIFFC was doing to help expand the unionized sector of the construction industry in parts of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. He went on to describe how he administers a $2.5 million budget and twenty-one full time staff. Read more »

300 Economists Warn That Deficit Hysteria Is a Big Con

300 Economists Warn That Deficit Hysteria Is a Big Con That Threatens to Drive America into a Full-Blown Depression, By Joshua Holland, AlterNet

On Thursday, 300 economists and analysts issued a statement warning that the “deficit hawks” who appear to be gaining the upper hand in our economic debates are threatening to turn an already deeply painful recession into a full-blown depression. Read more »

Get a Grip On Tool Safety

Tools are used every day in every industry. They make small tasks easier and large tasks possible, but they’re often taken for granted. Whether they’re simple hand tools, or more complex power tools, all tools can pose a hazard in the workplace.

Most of the time, hand and power tools can be used with no problems — but serious injuries can occur when tools are not properly maintained or they are not used correctly. J. J. Keller has some ideas about for taking steps to identify and correct potential tool-related hazards in your workplace. Read more »

Be a Star on New Outdoor TV Series

You work hard to keep this country running. You make a difference in your community. And you're passionate about the outdoors and passing on our hunting and fishing heritage to the next generation. That makes you a star in our book, so the Union Sportsmen's Alliance wants you on Brotherhood Outdoors. Read more »

U.S. UNIONS, CANADIAN ENERGY FIRM SIGN PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENT FOR BIG TRANS-NATIONAL PIPELINE

Four U.S. construction unions, the Operating Engineers, Teamsters, Laborers and the Plumbers and Pipefitters, signed a Project Labor Agreement on Sept. 14 with a large Canadian energy company, to build a big trans-national oil pipeline from the oil sands of Alberta to the refineries of Texas’ Gulf Coast. Read more »

Forum focuses on potential for clean energy jobs

One solution to the nation’s unemployment crisis is the creation of clean energy jobs, but to achieve that goal everyone must be involved in the effort, participants in a Congressional forum agreed.

Congressman Keith Ellison, who represents Minnesota’s 5th District, hosted the forum Sept. 8 at the South Education Center in Richfield. A large crowd listened and engaged in discussion with the panelists, who described local clean energy efforts and their connection to work at the federal level.

All agreed the potential for the growth of clean energy businesses and jobs is huge. Read more »

Laborers president cites critical need for jobs, praises Obama plan

Terry O’Sullivan, general president of LIUNA, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, said President Obama’s job creation plan announced Monday in Milwaukee “is exactly what our nation needs.”

LIUNA represents a half million workers, many of whom work in the construction industry which has been hit hard by the recession. The industry’s unemployment rate stood at 17 percent in August. Minnesota is among the states with the highest percentage of unemployment among construction workers. Read more »