Labor

Power and privilege: To empower, patronize, or pimp? Part 1

It was the first real big job he had as a contractor…

Manuel had been working as a handyman getting paid by the hour, but this was a contract; one price for labor and all materials, a contract, a step towards independence in the world of construction. No longer just a laborer but now a self employed contractor. I hadn’t processed all of the above at the time, but my friend had, and our difference in perspective is where our conflict began.

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Airport workers mobliize for higher wage

(Screenshot taken from video by Labor Education Service, below)

Workers at airports across the country have raised their wages to a minimum of $15 an hour and sparked wage increase campaigns in nearby cities. After Sea-Tac workers in Washington won a ballot initiative to raise their wages, a mobilization in nearby Seattle succeeded in passing a $15 an hour minimum in that city. Workers at the Los Angeles and St. Louis airports also won minimum wage increases. Workers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport are organizing to do the same.

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Colombian flower industry: These roses have thorns

Colombian organizers Josefa Gomez and Leonardo Luna Alzate speaking in Minneapolis

It’s hard to imagine a beautiful flower has anything to do with the ugly side of free trade and globalization. But for Josefa Gomez and other workers in the profitable flower industry of Colombia, providing bouquets for U.S. and world vases has meant increasing hours with falling pay, growing health problems and human rights violations.

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Worries linger over Postsecondary Teaching and Learning closing

(Photo by Bala Sivakumar published under Creative Commons License)

When the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning announced last week that it will shutter in two years, it left some faculty members worried about their future in the college.

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English, education and employment: Cleaning the way for African immigrants

Frank Dogbe and his daughters Joyce, Christa and Stella at their North Minneapolis home

Frank Dogbe gives his new employees from West Africa a one-year promise.

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Some groups of Minnesotans struggle more to find jobs

As Minnesota’s job market continues to improve after the recession, not all Minnesotans are sharing in the state’s progress.

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Video: Express Bike Shop

Minnesota 2020 went to the Express Bike Shop in St. Paul to learn more about Youth Express and their apprenticeship program for young adults. Youth Express, a program of Keystone Community Services, is a program created to help young adults develop entrepreneurial skills, work ethic and leadership. Keys Stone's investment to Youth Express helps provide a paid employment opportunity for youth who are joining the work force or those who may have already had a little work history.

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SEIU's faculty union effort may face hurdles at University of Minnesota

One of the country’s largest labor organizations’ efforts to unionize faculty at the University of Minnesota may need a clearer focus to make any headway at the school.

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Minneapolis Park board retiree says former coworkers fear retaliation for inequities complaints

(Photo by James L. Stroud, Jr.) Jayne Miller

A former Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) employee earlier this year emailed all nine park board commissioners, expressing concern about workplace conditions. The MSR received a copy of the five-page email sent in April titled “Racism issues concerns at the MPRB,” which made reference to the January 2012 investigation report in which top MPRB officials and the commissioners “agreed to address the concerns on the disparities and racism issues, and not to use fear or retaliation [against employees].”

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