In Minnesota, apprenticeship model expanding to other industries

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(Michael Moore, Union Advocate) Apprenticeship has long been the backbone of the Building Trades unions. Their on-the-job training programs put workers on a path to family-sustaining careers while ensuring union contractors have access to the highly skilled labor pool they need to remain competitive.

It’s a win-win model. Read more »

With boost from WESA, training program puts women on path to apprenticeship

(by Michael Moore, Union Advocate) Analise Adams, a 22-year-old from Minneapolis, was working in a Linden Hills childcare center two months ago. When her aunt, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, told her about a free training opportunity for women considering careers in construction, Adams decided to take a chance.

She quit her childcare job and enrolled in the two-week course. Read more »

Pipefitters showcase their craft in Veterans Home renovation

(by Steve Share, Mpls Labor Review) The Minneapolis Veterans Home is in the middle of a three-phase $117 million renovation to build new facilities at its campus on the Mississippi River bluffs near Minnehaha Falls Regional Park. For members of Pipefitters Local 539, the current work on “Building 21” is providing journeymen and apprentices the opportunity to work on hot water systems, chill water systems, steam systems, gas piping, a cooling tower and more. Read more »

NLRB Judge Orders Terex to Reinstate 13 Employees, Bargain with Union

A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge virtually threw the book at a Grand Rapids, Minn., construction equipment firm for widespread labor law-breaking during a 2014 Boilermakers organizing drive.

Indeed, Terex’s violations were so bad that on June 11, Administrative Law Judge David Goldman ordered instant recognition and bargaining by the firm with the union, saying the union now represents the company’s undercarriage makers as well as its painters.  Read more »

St. Croix Crossing bridge deck construction begins at Pier 9

June 10, 2015- The contractor is installing pre-cast concrete segments for the new St. Croix Crossing bridge deck at Pier 9 in the St. Croix River (see attached photo). The initial upstream (westbound) segments on both sides of Pier 9 have been lifted into position. They will be connected to the pier table this week. The initial downstream (eastbound) segments are anticipated to be installed early next week.  Read more »

Trades praise PUC decision to move pipeline project forward

Members of the Laborers International Union of America praised Friday’s decision by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to move ahead on the Sandpiper pipeline project.

At its meeting, the commission adopted an Administrative Law Judge’s recommendation and voted unanimously to grant a certificate of need for the project. The ruling, while not the final step in the process, is a milestone and significant step in the right direction for those that favor the project. Read more »

Twin Cities sprinkler fitters vote to strike

Members of Sprinkler Fitters Local 417 have voted to strike, overwhelmingly rejecting a proposed three-year contract offered by a contractors group. “They gave us their ‘last, final and best offer’ and the members voted it down quite substantially — 262 to reject, 2 to accept" on Monday, reported Jeff Motschenbacher, Local 417 business manager.

Local 417’s three-year contract with about 30 local contractors who are members of the National Fire Sprinkler Association expired May 31 at midnight. Read more »

Study: Fall Prevention Works, Even Anchored to Wood Frame

Fall protection on residential construction sites has long been the subject of controversy. Some residential construction firms have argued that that the wood frames and trusses common in homebuilding aren't suitable to safely anchor personal fall arrest systems (PFAS). Adapting the structures to make them suitable would be prohibitively expensive, requiring special engineering services. Read more »


By Mark Gruenberg, PAI Staff Writer - It’s taken more than 20 years, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to protect workers in confined spaces.  And OSHA says that implementing it could save deaths and injuries of almost 800 construction workers a year – some 96 percent of those who die or get hurt in confined-space tragedies. Read more »

Hundreds of construction workers participate in Workers Memorial Day ceremony in Saint Paul

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Still wearing hardhats and bright neon safety vests, hundreds of construction workers walked from their jobs building the new Senate Office Building and renovating the State Capitol to attend Tuesday’s Workers Memorial Day ceremony at the Capitol complex’s Workers Memorial Garden.  Read more »