Building Trades unions combine efforts to pass responsible contractor legislation

The Carpenters Union was a leading proponent of responsible contractor legislation. (Photo courtesy of North Country Carpenter)

When it comes to public construction projects in Minnesota, the law says that the lowest responsible bidder gets the job. What constitutes a “responsible bidder” wasn’t clearly defined in the law, however.


Housekeepers more injury prone than coal miners

Hotel room cleaning is a backbreaking job, with intense workloads, time pressures and repetitive lifting motions. Four weeks prior to the date they were interviewed, ninety-five percent of housekeepers reported enduring occupational-related injuries - according to one survey of 1,000 Las Vegas hotel workers. Most of these workers barely make a living wage while their employers are making millions in profits off their labor. Women and people of color are disproportionately bearing the brunt of these unsafe working conditions.


Legislature improves law governing public sector collective bargaining

Amid the many bills approved in the 2014 legislative session is a measure that significantly streamlines the state’s public employee collective bargaining process.


Workers, riders demand greater support for transit

Workers and riders rallied Tuesday for better funding of mass transit.

The workers who operate our transit system – and the people who depend on that service – rallied Tuesday in Minneapolis and across the nation for better funding at the state and federal levels.


Hotel profitability coming at workers' expense

The hotel industry in the Twin Cities metropolitan region has made a strong recovery out of the Great Recession, but not everyone is benefiting from the industry’s progress.


Macalester adjunct faculty fight for fairness

With ballots to be sent out on June 3, the debate on whether or not contingent faculty at Macalester College should unionize is getting heated.


Supplemental budget bill includes report on overtime, agricultural employers and workers

While Minnesota Public Radio touts the conventional talking points about this year's session in What the 2014 Legislature did for you, Bluestem is finding all sorts of goodies in the supplemental budget bill, and we'll be posting more about them in the coming week.


Fast food workers rally outside Lake Street McDonald’s

Photos By: 
Christina Cerruti

A group of fast food workers and activists gathered outside the McDonald’s at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Lake Street in Minneapolis on Thursday, May 15 as part of a nationwide event to raise awareness about low wages and workers' rights in fast food establishments across the country.


Renovation will make youth employment skills trainer Cookie Cart more environmentally friendly

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, the world, the economy, the people and the way of living was vastly different from the way that things are now. Some people and organizations have decided to make the change with the times and improve their relationship to the land.


When a pay raise costs too much

Minnesota’s anti-poverty programs are intended to incentivize work for those who are able, meaning that earning more money is usually a more lucrative deal than earning less money and remaining on public assistance. However, sometimes the numbers get a little wonky, creating “cliffs” where people lose a lot of assistance for earning just a little bit more money.

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