News

Water’s Off volunteers provide plumbing repairs for low-income homeowners

“This is too good to be true,” Laurene Gruett said as Gerald Keating and Brett Sergot, members of St. Paul Plumbers Local 34, repaired the basement shower and kitchen sink in her North St. Paul home March 21. “What a blessing. Keating and Sergot were among 57 volunteers from Local 34 who participated in the annual Water’s Off day of service. St. Paul plumbers provided free service and repairs to 50 low-income, senior or disabled homeowners. Read more »

Loretto man gets 22 months for lying about employees wages

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced on March 3, 2015 the sentencing of JEFFERY JOHN PLZAK, 52, to 22 months in federal prison for felony false statements in connection with prevailing wage violations. PLZAK pleaded guilty on July 8, 2014, to one count of False Statements and was sentenced on March 3, 2015, before Judge Patrick J. Schiltz in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn. Read more »

Injured Workers Suffer As 'Reforms' Limit Workers' Compensation Benefits

(NPR/ProPublica) Dennis Whedbee's crew was rushing to prepare an oil well for pumping on the Sweet Grass Woman lease site, a speck of dusty plains rich with crude in Mandaree, N.D.

It was getting late that September afternoon in 2012. Whedbee, a 50-year-old derrick hand, was helping another worker remove a pipe fitting on top of the well when it suddenly blew. Read more »

Trades sponsor Women Building Minnesota info sessions

Women considering a career in the construction industry can learn what it takes – and why it pays – to become a successful tradeswoman at two Women Building Minnesota information sessions next month. Read more »

Tradespeople make their case for construction careers

(Duluth News Tribune) “We gotta get young blood into our crafts,” said Russ Whitehouse, a retired Duluth ironworker who continues to serve as an apprentice instructor. “We’re starting to get older.” Read more »

Wisconsin 'right-to-work' critic will expand company in Minnesota

(Duluth News Tribune) The owner of a Wisconsin company invited to move to Minnesota in protest of its new "right-to-work" law says he plans to at least expand in the Gopher State -- provided enough contracts come his way to support the business. James Hoffman, owner of Black River Falls-based Hoffman Construction Co., which works mostly on highway construction projects, said his current plans are to more than double the size of his Lakeville office by the end of the year. Read more »

Contractor Hiring Fair & Community Open House on April 8

The North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters (NCSRCC) is hosting a Contractor Hiring Fair and Community Open House Wednesday, April 8, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at its corporate headquarters in Saint Paul, MN. The NCSRCC Carpenters Union and Training Center is located at 710 Olive Street. Read more »

Building Trades use social media to sway Ridgedale shoppers

Social media is one way that trade unions are reaching people, especially when it comes to a dispute with management, or in a local case, with the owners of a regional shopping mall. Beginning in the spring of 2014, several unions, spearheaded by Laborers Local 563, took issue with Ridgedale Mall in Minnetonka over what the unions said were safety issues along with some sub-standard wage levels. Read more »

Over 600 Road and Bridge Improvements Funded by Governor’s Proposal

2,200 miles of roadways and 330 bridges would be repaired or replaced statewide. Governor Mark Dayton and Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle today released a detailed list of more than 600 road and bridge improvements that would be completed if the Legislature passes the Governor’s proposed investments in transportation. The comprehensive list Read more »

Missouri House Approves Right-To-Work Bill, But Margin Not Veto-Proof

For the first time ever, the Missouri House has approved a right-to-work bill that curbs union rights. But the House’s 92-66 vote Wednesday afternoon, February 11,  was far short of the number – 109 -- needed to withstand a likely veto by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat with close union ties.The  measure also faces an uncertain future in the state Senate. A final House vote will be conducted Thursday, with final approval likely assured. Read more »