Labor

Telling – and considering – 'Untold Stories'

April and May 2014 mark the fifteenth year that the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, with the support of labor and community organizations, libraries, churches, bookstores, and foundations, has sponsored a series of labor history programs called “Untold Stories.” Each year a volunteer committee (in which this writer participates ) has organized talks and panel discussions, dramatic readings, films, tours, and singalongs, all free and open to everyone.

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New NAACP Labor Chair Tee McClenty is ready to fight for jobs

Labor activist Tee McClenty, originally from Camden, New Jersey, has a long history of service and of representing labor interests. As she tells it, “I’ve been a labor activist for a very long time. I worked at a long-term care facility, where I was a union steward. My last 17 years I spent at a hospital in Maplewood, where I was a union steward representing members.

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Lost and found: My Minne-Mex journey

The following is the story I shared last month at Sanctuary’s first story telling event: "The Story"

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Will Scott Walker seal the border as Wisconsin's low wage workers find jobs in Minnesota?

One of the Republican talking points during the legislative floor debate on raising the minimum wage was that businesses near Minnesota's borders would flee to neighboring lower wage states.

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OPINION | Reducing income inequality doesn't end with minimum wage campaign

On Monday, progressive state policymakers and fair wage supporters were in a celebratory mood, as Governor Dayton signed into law the first Minnesota minimum wage increase in nine years. Under that law, the hourly minimum wage will be gradually increased to $9.50 ($7.75 for small employers) by 2016 and indexed for growth in the cost of living beginning in 2018. While the new minimum wage law is a big win, more needs to be done to reverse the tide of growing income inequality.

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Pension subsidies pass the House

The long-term financial outlook for Minnesota pensions would improve if a bill that passed the House Thursday becomes law.

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Minimum wage increase passes House, governor to sign Monday

Rep. Ryan Winkler makes his closing comments April 10 before the House takes a vote on a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage. The bill passed 71-60 and now goes to the governor for action. (Photo by Paul Battaglia)

After nearly three hours of debate — and several accusations that the minimum wage package was done as a “back room deal” between House and Senate leadership in exchange for a new legislative office building — the House voted 71-60 to increase the state’s minimum hourly wage to $9.50, phasing it in by 2016, and indexing for inflation starting in 2018.

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'Memory and Place': Untold Stories labor history series begins April 22

The 2014 Untold Stories series focuses on the struggles facing workers in the past – and how they influence the issues of today. This year’s theme is “Memory and Place.” The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library sponsors this series of free, public programs in honor of Labor History Month.

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Women's Economic Security Act passes the House, heads to Senate

Rep. Carly Melin speaks during an April 9 news conference on the front steps of the Capitol to preview the House floor debate on the “Women’s Economic Security Act.” (Photos by Paul Battaglia)

After nearly four hours of debate Wednesday, the House passed the so-called “Women’s Economic Security Act” on a 106-24 vote.

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Enough work? Supply, demand and the roots of income inequality

Income inequality is certainly the rallying issue for many progressives these days. Paul Krugman goes as far as to call it the one issue, the only important one. “Inequality is, indeed, the defining challenge of our time. Will we do anything to meet that challenge?” he asked last December.

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