Discover more from Up With the Workers
Celebrating worker power and memory
May Day celebrations, victory for UMN's GLU-UE, a ban on captive audience meetings, and more.
Hello, friends! Yesterday was May Day, or International Workers’ Day, a day to celebrate workers and their organizations. Check out these refreshers on the labor and immigration history behind the day here, here, and here.
Yesterday, Twin Cities workers and organizations marched together to the East Phillips Roof Depot, which the city of Minneapolis is now willing to sell to the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute if they can raise the funds for it. They’ve been defending the land against a proposed demolition and are planning for an urban farm.
I also celebrated May Day by attending an exciting panel discussion at the East Side Freedom Library to hear about workers forming the first unions at cultural institutions across Minnesota.
The latest from Workday Magazine
University of Minnesota graduate assistants in the Twin Cities and Duluth unionized last week with a 2487-70 vote—a 97% majority. Read Isa’s story to learn more about the campaign and the decades of organizing preceding the election: UMN Grad Workers Express Hope and Urgency as They Gear Up for Union Election.
Although the Federal Trade Commission is proposing to ban noncompete agreements, other kinds of restrictive covenants perform a very similar function. A month ago, FirstService residential workers fighting to unionize with SEIU Local 26 in the Twin Cities held a two-day ULP strike. Read Sarah’s story, How Secret ‘Bondage Fees’ Trap Contracted Workers in Low-Wage Jobs, to learn more about this shady practice.
We’re grateful for the spotlight on our local journalism!
Eyes on labor in MN and the Midwest
Grocery workers who were planning to walk off the job last month ratified a historic contract with UNFI Cub Foods.
The Minnesota Reformer has stories on the passing of the refinery safety bill and Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act, the recovery of stolen wages of personal care assistants, and a Q&A with MN AFL-CIO president Bernie Burnham.
Starbucks workers in St. Paul walked off the job Thursday last week!
A few local media outlets have covered a study by MN DEED recommending that the state increase immigration to solve the “labor shortage” or pandemic-induced labor decline. Immigrant labor has always been in demand as a solution for essential work across the U.S., but these workers often face exploitative conditions like wage theft and trafficking, especially in agriculture, meatpacking, construction, and healthcare.
Last Friday was Workers’ Memorial Day. Labor Notes dives in on the Dirty Dozen, or the top most dangerous places to work in the U.S.
You can still join our video skills class today at 1pm!
Video Production for Organizers Tuesday, May 2, 1-3:30pm
Labor Law for Organizers Thursday, June 8, 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Missed the AFL-CIO and Global Cold War skills class? Check out the recording below and join us in eager anticipation of Jeff Schuhrke’s upcoming book.
Hope in work and joy in leisure. We are each other’s harvest.