Labor

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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Sharing like a capitalist

The sharing economy has received lots of media adoration over the last couple of years. A closer look reveals a more troubling truth. There are various types of companies in this new economy, but the ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft provide a useful example. In a recent article, Avi Asher-Schapiro details the effects of this model on the workers.

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Brotherhood Inc: Between troubled pasts and brighter future, a little coffee

When they aren't busy selling coffee, the members of Brotherhood Inc. engage in spirited conversations about race.

Sidiq Abdullah has been involved in Brotherhood Inc. since it first opened its doors on Dec. 15, 2011. He is now the sales manager for the organization’s coffee business, but he remembers his days of making cold calls without much fondness.

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