News

Shop Ridgedale Center at your own risk, Building Trades warn

The Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council will launch a mobile ad campaign tomorrow warning Ridgedale Center shoppers of serious safety hazards at the Minnetonka mall.

The coalition of 28 unions opted to ramp up the campaign after Ridgedale tenants and the mall’s Chicago-based ownership group, General Growth Properties (GGP), largely ignored complaints of serious safety issues on worksites linked to the mall’s $100 million renovation project. Read more »

OSHA announces effort to reduce fatal falls from cellphone towers

Under pressure from the Communications Workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced an initiative on Oct. 14 to reduce the number of workers killed in fatal falls from cellphone transmission towers.

What's notable about the CWA lobbying on the issue is that it's another instance of unions sticking up for all workers, union and non-union.   Read more »

Volunteer pipefitters tune up furnaces for homeowners in need

Volunteer members of St. Paul Pipefitters Local 455 serviced furnaces for low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners as part of the 29th annual HEAT’S ON day of service Sept. 27. Area union contractors, members of the Minnesota Mechanical Contractors Association, supplied parts and vehicles to the effort, and 147 volunteers from Local 455 and other pipefitters locals provided the labor. Read more »

New website makes voting easier than ever

MNVotes, the new website launched by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, makes it easier than ever to vote in the Nov. 4 elections. Minnesotans can register online, request absentee ballots, find their polling places and more. The website has a new look and functionality to allow voters to better access and interact with voter tools and information on their computers, tablets and mobile phones. Read more »

AFL-CIO Honors the Building and Woodworkers International with Human Rights Award

Hundreds of millions of fans around the globe cheer on their national teams at major sporting events such as the Olympics and the World Cup. Beneath the fanfare, host countries require vast amounts of labor to pull off the massive infrastructure updates and stadium construction needed for such events. The sad truth is that those who stage these events often undercut laws protecting wages, organizing rights, and health and safety protections. It is often migrant workers who pay the price for these fast-paced projects with injury, wage theft, forced labor and even death. Read more »

Felony charges filed against electrical contractor for underpaying workers

Two partners in an electrical contracting firm face felony charges for violating Minnesota’s prevailing wage laws by underpaying their workers.  Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday he was filing felony charges against Thomas Robert Clifton, Lake Elmo, and Earl Keith Standhafer, Burnsville, partners in C&S Electric. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine. Read more »

Electrical Workers crash Bonfe’s open house

Bonfe’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Service held an open house for prospective employees last night in St. Paul, but not everyone on the guest list appreciated the invite.

About two dozen members of St. Paul-based Local 110 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers surrounded Bonfe’s property during the open house. They carried signs and banners, distributed leaflets and warned the public – and potential employees – that Bonfe’s does not pay its electricians wages and benefits that meet area standards. Read more »

Gustafson honored for his legacy of leadership

Dan Gustafson, Jr., who began his career as a plasterer and ended as leader of Minnesota’s labor movement, has been honored with a plaque at the Minneapolis Labor Center.

Union officers and members mingled with Gustafson and his family at a reception Aug. 21 at the Union Bank & Trust, located in the labor center, 312 Central Ave. SE, Minneapolis. They admired a large plaque with an image of Gustafson that is displayed in the lobby of the labor center. Read more »

Minnesota Laborers' FUNraiser nets thousands for charity

The Minnesota Laborers union inaugural Family FUNraiser & Picnic netted more than $23,000 for local charities, the union announced.

The event was held Aug. 16 at Minnehaha Falls Park in Minneapolis. Proceeds benefitted the Ronald McDonald House and the Laborers Charitable Foundation charities. Read more »

Pipe Trades, Mayo Clinic team up for cancer research

The United Association, a union of more than 370,000 plumbers, pipefitters, sprinkler fitters and service technicians worldwide, teamed up with the Mayo Clinic yesterday to raise an estimated $1 million for cancer research.  The total marks continued growth for the Pipe Trades’ golf tournament, held for the third consecutive year at Hillcrest Country Club, which is owned by St. Paul Pipefitters Local 455. Last year the event raised $800,000. Read more »