Carpenters pile on TruStone for undermining area labor standards in Burnsville

(By Michael Moore, Union Advocate) Already embroiled in a dispute with its own employees’ union, TruStone Financial got an earful today from local Carpenters, who called out the credit union for working with a contractor that does not meet area standards for wages and benefits.  Read more »

North America’s Building Trades Unions: Increasing Apprenticeship Opportunities Through Innovation

(By )  As our nation celebrates National Apprenticeship Week, it is worth noting that for over 100 years North America’s Building Trades Unions and its signatory contractors have funded and operated a skilled craft apprenticeship system that is the envy of the world. Read more »


(Reprinted from the Union Advocate) Minnesota’s workforce is experiencing tremendous transition. Thousands of our experienced baby boomers are retiring, while many employers are seeking a workforce capable of meeting increased levels of skill to operate new technologies with precision.

An emerging, yet familiar, pathway for some employers to successfully bridge that gap is registered apprenticeship programs. Read more »

Dept of Labor and Obama administration celebrate first-ever National Apprenticeship Week

To "support and encourage apprenticeship programs that will help rebuild our middle class" and "rededicate ourselves to educating more of our people, retraining our workforce, and renewing our nation's promise to put the American dream within the reach of the determined," President Obama proclaimed Nov. 1-7, 2015 National Apprenticeship Week Read more »

Minnesotan named North America’s top tile apprentice

(by Michael Moore, Union Advocate) The trophy on display in Local 1’s New Hope training center may be small, but the accomplishment behind it – Brandon Peterson’s first-place finish in the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers’ International Apprentice Contest – is as grand as they come. Read more »

With new facility, St. Paul Pipefitters double down on commitment to training

(Article by Michael Moore, Union Advocate) A tenant for 111 years, St. Paul Pipefitters Local 455 finally has a home of its own. The union held an open house at its new facility at 1301 L’Orient Street in St. Paul yesterday, celebrating with apprentices, members, retirees, public officials and union leaders. Read more »

New video promotes the popular "Construct Tomorrow" program

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In these days of skyrocketing costs of attending college it would be nice if there was another option available to graduating high school seniors. 

There is. 

It’s called “Construct Tomorrow” and it’s designed to open the door on the career opportunities available in the skilled construction trades. The program began in 2013 at a jobs fair organized by unions from the building trades at Humboldt High School in St. Paul. Since then, the program has expanded rapidly as requests have come in from a growing number schools around the state.  Read more »

Labor endorsed in Ward 2, Tobolt ready to stand up for working families ‘on day one’

(by Michael Moore, Union Advocate) When a non-union electrical contractor was undermining area wages and benefits on a project funded by Ramsey County several years back, IBEW Local 110’s Brian Winkelaar didn’t think twice about what to do. He called Darren Tobolt, County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt’s longtime assistant. “I called him up and said, ‘Darren, how come they’re on this project?’” Winkelaar remembered. Read more »


Democratic presidential hopefuls’ opposition to building the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline could alienate blue-collar workers whom the party needs to attract to the polls next year, Laborers President Terry O’Sullivan says.

He issued that warning after the Democratic poll leader, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, joined the other Democratic hopefuls – led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt. – in opposing Keystone. The Canada-Gulf Coast pipeline has split greens from some union allies. Read more »

Building Trades invited, but unwelcome at Bonfe’s job fair

(by Michael Moore, Union Advocate) Bonfe’s might want to consider a new recruiting strategy. For the second year in a row, the non-union mechanical and electrical contractor invited members of area Building Trades unions to attend an open house for prospective employees. And just like last year, Bonfe’s recruiters spent most of the open house trying to keep union members out. Read more »