Minnesota Legislature Advancing Strong Pro-Working Family Agenda

At a time when it seems nearly every state legislature is assaulting the rights of working families, Minnesota's House and Senate are bucking the trend and are likely to soon send Gov. Mark Dayton a series of strong pro-working family bills. According to Minnesota AFL-CIO Communications Director Chris Shields, this is the first time in 20 years the state government has been unified under one-party control, with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party holding the governorship and the majority in both houses of the legislature. Read more »

"Apprenticeship:Building Your Career" video is available on YouTube or by DVD

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"Apprenticeship:Building Your Career" is a fast-paced twelve-minute video overview of what it means to be an apprentice in today's Building Trades. Shooting began last spring and was centered around the $243 million renovation of Union Depot in St.Paul.  Over a dozen apprentices agreed to appear in the video in interviews as well as being filmed working at their job sites. As it happened, shooting finished just as the Union Depot opened its doors to the public after years of reconstruction and rehabilitation.  Read more »

A New Woman: Program Prepares New York Women in the Building Trades

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The Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) program in New York City prepares women for careers in construction and related industries through an innovative training and placement program that guides low-income women toward a meaningful career and solid financial footing. Read more »

MN Building Trades Lobby Day- Trades rally at state capitol for jobs

“Come on, let’s make some noise!” The crowd filling the State Capitol rotunda and two levels of balconies roared out in loud reply to Harry Melander, president of the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council, as he led-off a March 14 rally. “Thank you for coming,” Melander told hundreds of Building Trades union members. “It’s a much different place here this year — and it’s due to you.”

One year ago at the State Capitol, union members beat back an effort to put a “Right to Work” constitutional amendment on the ballot. Read more »

Trades night at Target Field planned for June 11

Tickets are available now for the annual Building Trades night at Target Field, planned for Tuesday, June 11. The Minnesota Twins will play the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:10PM. A pre-game picnic will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Farmers Market, and a free shuttle bus will run between the Farmers Market and Target Field. Read more »

Subcommittee Holds Hearing on America’s Mineral Resource Potential and Seven Mining Bills to Create Jobs

On Thursday, March 21st, Minnesota Building Trades President Harry Melander appeared on a panel testifying before an oversight Energy and Minerals Subcommittee about “America’s Mineral Resources: Creating Mining and Manufacturing Jobs and Securing America.”  This and subsequent hearings are addressing seven mining bills that will create jobs, streamline government red-tape, and make America less dependent on foreign critical and strategic minerals that are vital to securing an all-of-the-above American energy plan. Read more »

Supporters rally in St. Paul, MN for Keystone Pipeline XL project

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On March 14, 2013, as part of Building Trades Day-on-the-Hill, a rally was held at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul to support the Keystone XL Pipeline project.  Several hundred union members attended to endorse the project as a safe and efficient way to move oil across the U.S. from Canada, to reduce dependance on foreign oil, and to create thousands of jobs. Here is a short video of highlights of the morning. 


More than 90 Employees Locked Out in Detroit Lakes

Starting at 6:00 a.m. Monday morning close to 100 workers are now locked out their jobs in Detroit Lakes. According to an employee that wishes to remain anonymous, 90 some Snappy Air Distribution came to work Monday morning only to find they no longer had a job.

Snappy Air Distribution is a union shop and on Friday, March 8 at 3:00 p.m. the contract between the Sheet Metal Workers Union and Snappy was rejected by vote. Read more »

Regulators Crack Down on Classifying Workers as Contractors

In recent months, regulators have demanded millions of dollars from companies that hired independent contractors to hang drywall, install cable, staff call centers, give manicures and perform other jobs in which the government said workers were really functioning as company employees. A crackdown on businesses that treat some workers as independent contractors is causing a stir in industries from trucking to exotic dancing.At issue is whether the companies improperly classify employees to avoid paying overtime and payroll taxes. Read more »

Video: Sugar workers call on Target to back boycott

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Janitors, security guards, building cleaners and allies joined locked out American Crystal Sugar workers on March 1, 2013 for a rally at the Target store and headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. They called on Target to stop selling Crystal Sugar until that company ends its 20 month-long lockout of union workers at plants in Minnesota and North Dakota. The event capped a week of coordinated actions by SEIU Local 26, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, Take Action Minnesota, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha, and Occupy Homes. Read more »