Good News for Street Protesters: Inflatable Rats Are OK!

NLRB rules that use of blow-up vermin is protected form of speech, By Akito YoshikaneThe giant inflatable rats used by unions to protest employer labor practices are legally permissible, the National Labor Relations Board ruled last week. The decision allows labor groups to display the large, blow-up vermin outside companies and secondary employers. The board, in a 3-1 ruling, said the tactic does not violate U.S. Read more »

There's a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Deal With a Jobs Crisis -- Why Is Germany Doing It So Well?

Germany's success indicates that one way to fight unemployment would be some modest efforts to give U.S. employers incentives to cut hours, not workers.

Budget impasse leaves construction workers high and dry

The budget impasse at the state Capitol couldn’t come at a worse time for Minnesota construction workers, who face the leanest job prospects in the nation.

The latest figures compiled by the Associated General Contractors of America show Minnesota saw the steepest decline in construction jobs of any state over the last year. Read more »

STUDY: Worker Safety Greatly Reduced in States with Right-to-Work Laws

A new study, conducted by Roland Zullo at the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), has determined that unionization has a positive effect on workplace safety while Right-to-Work laws have a negative effect on workplace safety.

Exxon Pays a Lower Effective Tax Rate than the Average American

Exxon Mobil's accounting methods mask its low effective tax rate: it claims taxes that are paid by others, such as drivers at the pump and employee payroll taxes.

AFSCME and MAPE planning for the "The Last Supper" BBQ at the Capitol

From the AFSCME Website: Rather than working with Gov. Dayton to pass a budget that supports public services by taxing the rich, some lawmakers are playing political games that could shutdown government. Union members want to work for Minnesota and we’re going to tell lawmakers “Don’t go home without a fair budget.” Join AFSCME and MAPE at the State Capitol (75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul) on Monday, May 23 – “The Last Supper” BBQ begins at 6 p.m. outside on the capitol mall. Read more »

This is a UNION TOWN

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Woody Guthrie wrote on his guitar, "This machine kills fascists." Tom Morello, the Nightwatchman, writes on his, "Whatever it takes." Both of these statements should remind us where we've been, where we are, and what has to be done right now to say "enough is enough." In the Woody Guthrie tradition, Morello recently wrote a powerful song, "Union Town," that could be adopted as a new anthem for the labor movement. Its a catchy tune with a good beat and great lyrics- and a screaming guitar solo in the middle. Read more »

Canadian Oil Sands

A study, commissioned by API and conducted by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI), says greater oil sands production in Canada is expected to stimulate economic activity in both the U.S. and Canada, creating more than 340,000 new jobs in the U.S. alone. The accompanying video provides a excellent explanation of what oil sands is.

Workers Memorial Day at Capitol

In St. Paul, more than 125 people gathered at the Workers Memorial Garden on the Capitol grounds. Most huddled under a tent in 40-degree weather as steady drizzle fell around them. (with MNDOT video) For the first time, the ceremony combined observances organized each year by MnDOT’s Metro District and by the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council. Read more »

Prevailing Wisdom for Prevailing Wage

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State Council President Harry Melander, President, MN Pipe Trades Crimmins, and Prof. John Remington, Labor Educaiton Service, are featured in this video by Tom Niemisto, MN 2020, about the benefits of prevailing wage. In the continuing attack on Minnesota’s middle class, conservatives are now targeting prevailing wage laws which ensure construction workers are fairly paid on state-funded projects. Read more »