Rigorous standards will ensure clean mines

(By: Frank Ongaro, Duluth News Tribune) From President Obama to Gov. Mark Dayton, elected officials have made jobs a top priority. In Minnesota, one thing is certain: There is no better opportunity for creating thousands of great-paying jobs, providing millions of dollars in tax revenue for local governments and generating more than $2 billion in royalties for our schools than the proposed copper/nickel strategic metals mineral development projects. Read more »

Mining industry's view: Let mining boost state manufacturing

By: Hal Quinn, Duluth News Tribune: The economy is a top concern for state manufacturers who question whether Minnesota is a competitive state in which to do business, according to findings from Enterprise Minnesota’s fifth-annual “State of Manufacturing” report released in July. Read more »

Striking Workers Visit Medtronic to Ask One of the State’s Biggest Companies to Stop its Relationship with Cretex

Multiple delegations of striking union workers from Cretex and business agents from Laborers Local 563 made a visit to three Medtronic properties in Fridley, Mounds View and Brooklyn Center, Minn. today to ask the world's largest medical technology company to cease doing business with Cretex until the strike is settled. Read more »

Rally to support striking Cretex workers of Local 563

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A video by LIUNA Local 563 about the strike rally at Cretex on August 6, 2013. Speakers include Paul Thissen, MN Speaker of the House; Tom Bakk, MN Senate Majority Leader; and Terry O'Sullivan, General President, Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA).

Cretex Strike Rally on July 6, 2013

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Workers at Cretex in Shakopee, MN are on strike over the threatened loss of their pension plan. MN Speaker of the House Paul Thissen, MN Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Laborers' International Union President Terry O'Sullivan spoke at a rally for the striking workers outside the Cretex concrete plant on August 6. 

Produced by the Labor Education Service, University of Minnesota

Edited by David Hertz

Hundreds rally to support striking Laborers at Cretex

Arturo Sanchez is accustomed to working outside in all kinds of weather, making concrete products at Cretex Companies. He didn’t mind the hard work, he said, because he was earning a decent living and putting money into a pension plan for the day he would retire.

Now Cretex wants to take that money and convert the workers’ secure, union-based pension plan into a 401(k) worth much less. That prompted Sanchez and some 40 other members of Local 563 of the Laborers International Union of North America to walk off the job seven weeks ago. Read more »

Stand Up for Cretex Workers Rally planned for August 6

Members of Laborers Local 563 are on strike because their employer, Cretex Companies, has threatened to cut retirement benefits roughly 80 percent for employees at the company's Shakopee, Minn. plant—destroying the dream of a secure retirement for dozens of area households. Read more »

Union Workers File Federal Civil Rights Charges Against Cretex for the Mistreatment of Latinos

Fifteen members of Laborers Local 563 filed Federal civil rights charges today with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) against Cretex for its treatment of Latino workers. Members of Local 563 who work at Cretex' Shakopee, Minn. concrete plant have been on the picket lines since June 19 when they went on strike to protest company plans to slash retirement benefits.  Read more »

NLRB Nominees Set for Full Confirmation Vote

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee yesterday voted (13–9) to send the nominations of Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. The vote will likely be next week.

Schiffer is a former AFL-CIO associate general counsel who also served as an attorney in the NLRB’s regional office in Detroit and in private practice. She told the committee earlier this week: Read more »

Harry Melander: Building builders, growing our economy

Drive to just about any region in our State. Look up or down, and you will see: "We are back."

You see new mining opportunities on the Iron Range and housing developments in our urban core. You see expansion of our medical center in Rochester and new investments in our regional transit system. All are indications that "we are back."

After suffering unemployment rates that reached Depression-year rates, the Building Trades industry is once again back in full swing. Union members are finding work, collecting paychecks and stimulating their local economies. Read more »