SPFT Press Conference 2-12-18

SPFT, district reach agreement, pledge to take on funding shortfalls together

Members of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers and the school district reached tentative contract agreements early Monday morning, averting a strike.  But the union is not walking away from the fight for fully funded, racially equitable schools.  The SPFT refused to allow scarcity to dictate contract negotiations despite the district’s projected budget shortfall.


MN labor provides topics, resources and prizes for History Day projects

Minnesota labor offers both variety and depth in topics and resources for students and educators working on 2017 History Day projects.  Three organizations also offer prizes to students who complete entries about working people and unions. Every year, History Day provides an opportunity for students in grades 6-12 to choose and research historical topics.  Participants create papers, plays, videos, websites and exhbits. More than a half million young researchers per year investigate and present projects at school, regional, state and national competition levels. The inter-disciplinary program teaches students valuable skills, notes National History Day Minnesota.  They learn to conduct in-depth research using primary and secondary sources; analyze and synthesize information from a variety of texts; and express what they learn in clear and creative ways. Labor’s past struggles can provide projects that clearly fit the 2018 National History Day competition theme: “Conflict and Compromise in History.”  The theme aligns well with how workers have both fought and negotiated for their rights, fair pay and better working conditions.

OSHA logo 2

Fatal on-the-job injuries rose by 7 percent in 2016

More than 5,000 U.S. workers – 14 every day — were fatally injured on the job in 2016, a 7 percent increase from the year before, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.  The AFL-CIO attributes the rise to cuts in OSHA funding. 

IATSE Local 13 stagehands picket Minneapolis Armory

Stagehands picket Armory, insist new venue should sign union contract

The historic National Guard Armory in downtown Minneapolis, built in 1935, will be re-opening soon as an entertainment venue. But, unlike the city’s other major entertainment venues, developer Ned Abdul of Swervo Development is attempting to launch the Armory as a non-union facility.

Capitol exhibit side view

Exhibit on tradeswomen and original builders opens at Capitol

A two-part exhibit opened at the Minnesota State Capitol in December. One section focuses on the role of women in constructing the Capitol. The other shows tools and objects made and used by the original tradespeople who built the statehouse.  The display grew out of the LES “Who Built Our Capitol?” project that uncovered more than 620 of the original builders from1896-1905.


Labor stands with communities to defend DACA

Protesters rallied in front of the Republican Party headquarters on East Franklin Avenue and marched to downtown Minneapolis on September 5 in response to the Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.


LES co-authors ‘State of Minnesota Unions’ report

“The State of the Unions: A Profile of Unionization in Minnesota and in America” report was released today to coincide with Labor Day 2017. The report presents an overview on the status of unionized employment in the state and analyzes the effect unions have on wages and benefits.