Residential construction industry built on ‘payroll fraud’ model

See video has completed a several months long study on wage theft in Minnesota. The problem is pervasive and widespread throughout the state in many types of work. Two of the studies focused on wage theft in non-union sectors of the building and construction trades. This article addresses the problem in residential construction. 

Jose Ramirez had never heard the term “wage theft,” but he knew he was being cheated when a roofing subcontractor refused to pay him. Read more »


The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) today announced a $27.7 million investment into the 333 on the Park project in St. Paul, which will transform an aging eight-story office building into 134 market rate multifamily housing units.  The project will create an estimated 190 union construction jobs and 435 total jobs among various business and service sectors in the local community. Read more »

Ice shanty project showcases artistry of trades workers

“Welcome to the Boiler Room Shanty, celebrating the people and pipes that keep us warm!” With those words, Clara Schiller greets visitors to her shanty on While Bear Lake. But it’s not the traditional ice house that you’d find on a Minnesota lake in the winter. There’s no hole for catching fish; instead the tiny building houses a working boiler and other materials related to pipefitting. Read more »

6th Annual Women Build Nations conference, April 29-May 1

(by Harry Melander, President, MN Building & ConstructionTrades Council) The Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council encourage interested tradeswomen to attend the 6th National Conference for Women in the Trades, Women Build Nations, April 29-May 1, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel Conference Center. This national conference grew from the Women Building California conference, which started in 2002. Read more »

300 Union Plumbers Spent The Weekend Installing Water Filters For Flint Residents For Free

Due to the inaction of state and federal officials, thousands of people in Flint have been exposed to unsafe levels of lead in their water. Now a group of union plumber are taking matters into their own hands. 

On Saturday, 300 plumbers from unions across the country descended on Flint to install new faucets and water filters for free. Read more »

Building Trades volunteers build an "ice design" in Rice Park

(by John See, Labor Education Service, U of MN) Members of several Building Trades unions built an ice castle in St. Paul’s Rice Park last weekend. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to call  it an “ice design,” said Tom McCarthy, President of the St Paul Building Trades. “That’s what happens when the grand plan for an Ice Castle has to be scaled back due to, well, a lack of ice.” Read more »

It's Time to Re-Build, Re-Train, and Rejuvenate America, by Sean McGarvey

 As the 2016 presidential campaign kicks into high-gear (the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries will occur in the next few weeks), it is troubling to those of us in the building trades, as it should be to all Americans, that the important issue of re-building and repairing America's infrastructure has not been more prominently discussed.

Even though Secretary Clinton has put forth a realistic, workable and robust infrastructure investment plan, the GOP candidates, as well as the media, have largely ignored this issue. Read more »

Dayton’s ‘jobs bill’ would strengthen state’s infrastructure and economy, unions say

(Reprinted from the Union AdvocateGov. Mark Dayton today proposed investing $1.4 billion in infrastructure improvements across Minnesota, including $82 million earmarked for projects in St. Read more »

LIUNA GENERAL PRESIDENT O’SULLIVAN's statement about the oral arguments in FRIEDRICHS CASE

Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA (the Laborers’ International Union of North America) today made the following statement regarding the oral arguments in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case: “This suit is a direct assault on the collective bargaining rights that have enabled generations of workers to organize for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.”

  Read more »

Trades praise agreement covering construction project in Forest Lake schools

(Reprinted from the Union AdvocateA $140 million bonding initiative approved by voters in ISD 831 last fall will improve the security and structural integrity of buildings throughout the Forest Lake Area Schools. And thanks to a project labor agreement (PLA), the district’s investment will uphold area wage, benefit and safety standards as well. Read more »