News

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

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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 »

Unionized Construction Workers in Minnesota Get Back $5.59 for Every Dollar Paid in Dues

In Minnesota, construction workers are productive, high-skilled, and well-paid. Over 30 percent of these workers are members of a union. To maintain and increase membership, trade unions in Minnesota must continually demonstrate how workers benefit from contributing dues. Read more »

Native pride meets union pride in Cement Masons’ training program

(Michael Moore, Union Advocate) As the first trickle of mud oozed out of the concrete truck’s chute, 13 trainees dressed in hardhats, safety vests and tall rubber boots sprung into action, using shovels and trowels to distribute the concrete evenly across 13 rectangular slabs.

The July heat was pushing 90 degrees, and the trainees, participants in a unique pre-apprenticeship program co-sponsored by the Cement Masons and area tribal authorities, worked in silence, heads down, as their instructors barked orders and critiqued their work.

  Read more »

Building Trades, Firefighters, raise alarm about contractors' use
 of unsafe lumber

Out-of-state contractors are using unsafe lumber at four large, multi-family residential developments under construction in Minneapolis, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park and Minnetonka, Building Trades and Firefighters say.  Read more »

Take the bus to support of mining on Wed, July 13, in Duluth

Next Wednesday from 5:00‐7:30 p.m., the US Forest Service (USFS) will hold a public forum at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center where community members will discuss the pending renewal of two Twin Metals mineral leases. The USFS decision and their view of development within the Rainy River watershed will impact the development of all future mining opportunities in the area. Read more »