United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced on March 3, 2015 the sentencing of JEFFERY JOHN PLZAK, 52, to 22 months in federal prison for felony false statements in connection with prevailing wage violations. PLZAK pleaded guilty on July 8, 2014, to one count of False Statements and was sentenced on March 3, 2015, before Judge Patrick J. Schiltz in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn. Read more »
(NPR/ProPublica) Dennis Whedbee's crew was rushing to prepare an oil well for pumping on the Sweet Grass Woman lease site, a speck of dusty plains rich with crude in Mandaree, N.D.
It was getting late that September afternoon in 2012. Whedbee, a 50-year-old derrick hand, was helping another worker remove a pipe fitting on top of the well when it suddenly blew. Read more »
(Duluth News Tribune) “We gotta get young blood into our crafts,” said Russ Whitehouse, a retired Duluth ironworker who continues to serve as an apprentice instructor. “We’re starting to get older.” Read more »
(Duluth News Tribune) The owner of a Wisconsin company invited to move to Minnesota in protest of its new "right-to-work" law says he plans to at least expand in the Gopher State -- provided enough contracts come his way to support the business. James Hoffman, owner of Black River Falls-based Hoffman Construction Co., which works mostly on highway construction projects, said his current plans are to more than double the size of his Lakeville office by the end of the year. Read more »
The North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters (NCSRCC) is hosting a Contractor Hiring Fair and Community Open House Wednesday, April 8, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at its corporate headquarters in Saint Paul, MN. The NCSRCC Carpenters Union and Training Center is located at 710 Olive Street. Read more »
Social media is one way that trade unions are reaching people, especially when it comes to a dispute with management, or in a local case, with the owners of a regional shopping mall. Beginning in the spring of 2014, several unions, spearheaded by Laborers Local 563, took issue with Ridgedale Mall in Minnetonka over what the unions said were safety issues along with some sub-standard wage levels. Read more »
2,200 miles of roadways and 330 bridges would be repaired or replaced statewide. Governor Mark Dayton and Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle today released a detailed list of more than 600 road and bridge improvements that would be completed if the Legislature passes the Governor’s proposed investments in transportation. The comprehensive list Read more »
For the first time ever, the Missouri House has approved a right-to-work bill that curbs union rights. But the House’s 92-66 vote Wednesday afternoon, February 11, was far short of the number – 109 -- needed to withstand a likely veto by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat with close union ties.The measure also faces an uncertain future in the state Senate. A final House vote will be conducted Thursday, with final approval likely assured. Read more »
(via AP) The Republican-controlled Congress cleared a bill Wednesday to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, setting up a confrontation with President Barack Obama, who has threatened to veto the measure.
The House passed the bill on a 270-152 vote, endorsing changes made by the Senate that stated climate change was real and not a hoax, and oil sands should no longer be exempt from a tax used to cleanup oil spills. Read more »