Striking Workers Keep Health Benefits Thanks to Strike Fund and the Generosity of Other Unions

In a showing of support and solidarity, members of Laborers Local 563 will continue to receive health insurance benefits even though they are on the picket line fighting to keep their retirement benefits. A strike fund has been established by Local 563 to support the more than 40 construction craft laborers who are on strike against Cretex at the company's Shakopee facility. Read more »


Having failed in yet another frontal attack on construction workers' wages, through defeat of their plan to kill Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage requirements, workers' foes are trying a new tack: Change the wage base, to make the wages as low as possible.

That's what they set out to do at a mid-June hearing before the ideologically polarized House Education and the Workforce Committee – a panel packed with Republican foes of workers and their pay. Read more »

Striking Laborers step up pressure with ad campaign

Union workers at Cretex Companies are stepping up pressure for a fair contract by airing ads on three Twin Cities radio stations.  Members of Laborers Local 563 went on strike June 19, pledging to walk the picket line until Cretex abandons its attempt to strip workers of their pension benefits.

Since negotiations on a new contract for 38 members of Local 563 began in January, Cretex has refused to budge from its proposal to quit making contributions to workers' pensions, Local 563 representative Steve Buck said. Read more »

Members of Laborers Local 563 take to the picket line to fight for fair pay and pensions

More than 40 construction craft laborers of the Local 563 took to the picket lines on Wednesday, June 19, after negotiations between the union workers at the company’s Shakopee facility and Cretex broke down. Cretex failed to meet the request of its employees regarding fair wage and pension plans. Workers at the Shakopee facility have been working without a contract since December 31, 2012. Read more »

The Most Dishonest Words in American Politics: 'Right to Work'

“Right to work” is the most dishonest phrase in American political discourse. It sounds like it’s defending people’s right to earn a living. But as used by its supporters, it means making it impossible for workers to form an effective union, couched in the language of “freedom” and “choice.” Read more »

Ironworkers Call on Congress to Fix Crumbling Infrastructure

After the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in Washington State, Ironworkers General President Walter Wise called on Congress to break the unprecedented gridlock and make immediate investment in rebuilding the country's crumbling infrastructure. Wise notes numerous reports in recent years highlight addressing America's infrastructure is long overdue. Read more »

Bridges Shouldn't Have to Collapse for Congress to Get Serious About Infrastructure

“How many more bridges must collapse, how many people must be hurt or die and how many billions of dollars must be drained from our economy before Congress makes investing in the basic infrastructure of our country a priority?”

That was the question from Terry O’Sullivan, the general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, after last week’s collapse of the Interstate 5 Bridge over the Skagit River in Washington State.

O’Sullivan has asked it before. Read more »

Opposition to Unions Has Real-World Consequences

New York Times editorial this weekend criticizes Republican obstructionism designed to stop the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from protecting workers' rights by blocking President Obama's appointments to the board. Read more »

Up the Creek? No Worry, We’ve Got a Bridge

The Union Sportsmen's Alliance (USA) Adopt-a-Park initiative is making sure hikers in Montgomery Bell State Park near Nashville, Tenn., have a safe new bridge to cross a 30-foot-wide creek.

Volunteers from the Nashville Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) are spending weekends in May building a sturdy, permanent bridge to replace a small, temporary structure further down the creek after a 2010 flood washed away the original bridge. Read more »

Make It a Union-Made Memorial Day Barbecue

Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to the summer holiday season. While the day honors those who have given their lives defending the nation—and Jimmy  Gilbert, director of the AFL-CIO’s Union Veterans Council, will write more on that next Monday—the weekend also marks the start of grilling season. Here’s some union-made food and drink to get your barbecue off to a great start.  Read more »