Building Trades urge Obama to sign Keystone pipeline bill

Building Trades unions are urging President Barack Obama to sign legislation mandating construction of the entire controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. They said the pipeline would create tens of thousands of construction jobs.

But their appeal fell on deaf ears at the White House. Obama has already promised to veto the measure, because it bypasses the federal process for considering the project. And the 62-36 bipartisan Senate vote for the bill reveals there are enough anti-Keystone senators to uphold his decision.  Read more »

Trades volunteers build Royal Courtyard for Winter Carnival

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Cutting, pushing, lifting and setting heavy blocks for eight to ten hours a day in the cold - and having fun doing it - over 50 Minnesota building trades volunteers harvested ice and built the Royal Courtyard for the 2015 St. Paul Winter Carnival.

The work began on Saturday, Jan. 17, when the workers harvested 1,000 blocks from Lake Phalen in St. Paul.  They used power rotary and chain saws to cut the blocks, as well as trucks to haul the ice.  Read more »

Minnesota unions make case for Sandpiper oil pipeline

A series of five public hearings on a proposed oil pipeline through Minnesota opened in St. Paul yesterday, and members of several Building Trades unions stepped forward to support the $2.5 billion venture, projected to create 1,500 construction jobs.  Read more »

Construct Tomorrow program grows, has big plans for next year

Rich Krohn is a faculty member at North Hennepin Community College and an enthusiastic supporter of “Construct Tomorrow,” a Job fair for the construction trades that was held in Brooklyn Park on November 14. He is also a member of the Pile Drivers union. His first job when he got out of high school was working on the construction of the Minneapolis Convention Center.

“I understand the value of a craft education and the ability to earn while you learn," said Krohn. "I’d like to see these students get that same kind of opportunity.” Read more »

Comments needed for the Sandpiper Pipeline Project in MN

This article has background about the project and the schedule of weeklong public hearings (that began on January 5) and some topics to consider while making your voice heard. Also,a comprehensive,printable document(pdf)from the MN PUC about this process can be found here. Read more »

Holidays bring increased stress for many workers, but help is available

The holidays can be a particularly stressful time for everyone. Job losses, financial troubles and workplace injuries or accidents often compound the stress faced by workers and their families.

For many union workers, help with these and other problems – substance abuse, depression, anxiety – is available through their employee assistance program, or EAP. Read more »

Unions Warn Black Friday Shoppers of Holiday Hazards at Ridgedale Center

Recent Discovery of Open, Unguarded Skylight Shows Continued Disregard for Public, Workplace Safety.

While holiday shoppers look for gifts this Black Friday at Ridgedale Center, union members say the mall’s owners should expect coal in their stocking due to lax construction safety practices that have repeatedly put shoppers and workers at risk. Read more »

Unions split on Keystone as Senate stops pro-pipeline bill

Unions split on building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline as the Senate narrowly voted to stop a pro-Keystone bill. Legislation to approve the pipeline is likely to come up again in 2015 when Republicans have control of both houses of Congress. Read more »

Resurrection shows how the people's house is getting renovated

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A film by John Kaul is provides a fascinating look at the renovations going on at the MN State Capitol. You may be surprised at the scope of the project (it's huge), and when you look at work sites and see the incredible changes inside because of this radical overhaul, well, you have to see it to believe it: the tour is riveting.   Read more »

Helping Women Veterans Find Sheet Metal Apprenticeships

After serving their country, many veterans have trouble transitioning into civilian jobs, particularly younger and female service members. The unemployment rate among all veterans ages 18–24 is 21.3% (compared to 13.1% of civilians.  And while male veterans have an unemployment rate (4.2%) lower than the national rate, female veterans are much worse off with a 7.9% unemployment rate. Read more »