Monday
Jun132011

Build Minnesota so Minnesota Works!

Laborers Union members and members of the community who support creating jobs by rebuilding our state's crumbling infrastructure are called to join us for a BUILD MINNESOTA SO MINNESOTA WORKS Rally. The rally takes place on the Historic Stone Arch Bridge in Downtown Minneapolis. Infrastructure projects past and present surround the bridge with the tragic I-35W bridge in the background and the Mississippi River Locks and Dams nearby. At the rally, Laborers Union General President Terry O'Sullivan will describe a vision of rebuilding the deteriorating infrastructure of Minnesota and America. We believe that improving roads, bridges, water infrasctructure and energy producing facilities is the key to kickstarting the American economy. A massive rebuilding effort would create new high quality jobs for American workers and spur economic development across the country.

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Monday
Jun132011

BlueGreen Alliance releases National Transportation Policy

"An overhaul of our nation's transportation system is long overdue. The system is broken, and broke - in addition to improving our infrastructure, we also need to create sustainable revenue sources to fund needed investments." That is how the last paragraph of the BlueGreen Alliance's new National Policy on Transportation ends. Along the way, the policy lays out six elements of what a comprehensive transportation policy should include:

  1. Modernize Transportation Infrastructure and Make It More Efficient
  2. Make Our Transportation Networks Greener
  3. Support Flexibility for Transit Operating Assistance
  4. Build Cleaner Cars and Trucks Here in America
  5. Support Cleaner Ports and Freight
  6. Create Quality U.S. Jobs in Transportation

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Friday
May202011

Congressman Walz Proposes Infrastructure and Energy Independence Bill

Earlier this week, a bi-partisan group of US Representatives, including Laborers endorsed Congressman Tim Walz of Minnesota's First Congressional District, introduced The Infrastructure Jobs and Energy Independence Act. The bill would move the United States toward a clean energy future by using funds collected from expanding domestic offshore oil production to fund research and speed the development of and transition to cleaner energy sources, such as wind, solar, clean coal and biomass. In addition, the bill would rebuild America’s aging locks, dams, bridges, and roads, and would be the largest infrastructure investment in U.S. history.

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Friday
May062011

Governor Dayton proposes "Better Roads for a Better Minnesota"

Earlier this week, Governor Mark Dayton proposed an infrastructure improvement program called "Better Roads for a Better Minnesota." The program aims to improve 700 miles of state highways over the next four years in an effort to put a dent in the 750 miles of highways in Minnesota classified as in "poor" condition. It is estimated that the program will result in approximately 9,900 direct and indirect private sector jobs. "Once again, Governor Dayton has stepped up to the plate and found a way to create some jobs for Laborers Union members," said Todd Pufahl, Legislative Director for the Laborers District Council of MN & ND. "Now if we could just get the legislature to spend more time on creating jobs and less time on cutting pay for construction workers," a reference to efforts by business groups to cut prevailing wages.

One of the best parts about the $398,000,000 investment is that it does require increased revenue.

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Wednesday
May042011

Free Download of Tom Morello's "Union Town"

Laborers Union members are peacefully defending their rights in states all across the US, including here in Minnesota, and they’re all up against GOP underhanded tactics pushing through dangerous bills. Over the past two weeks, Laborers have been coming legislative hearings for bills that would reduce the pay of construction workers on state funded projects. While our union brothers and sisters in each state face their own battles for saving workers rights, they all share in the belief that ending fundamental rights to organize does not balance budgets. According to the AFL-CIONOW BLOG,

Singer Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine has always been a strong supporter of working people. Morello was so inspired after taking part in a demonstration and headlining  a concertin February for the protesters at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., that he wrote what he calls “fighting songs.”

Not only did he write and record the songs, he’s donating the proceeds of the new eight-song extended play (EP) “Union Town” to help working people. 

Click on the video above to listen to the song and then click below to download the song to your computer.

Thursday
Apr282011

Minnesota House Committee Votes To Cut Construction Worker Pay

This past Tuesday, the Minnesota House Commerce Committee passed HF 1476, a bill that would make sweeping changes to prevailing wage rules and would drive down wages for construction workers, end overtime pay after 8 hours of work and hurt working families. The vote was close. Please send a thank you to the Representatives who voted against the bill. 

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Wednesday
Apr202011

Laborers District Council Issues Call to Action to Save Prevailing Wages

The fight for good jobs at the state Capitol is heating up! On Tuesday, April 26th, the Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives will have a hearing on House File 1476 (HF1476). The bill would change the calculation of prevailing wages from the mode (most frequently occurring wage) to the mean (average wage) and changes the prevailing hours of work from 8 hours in a work day at straight time to 40 hours in a work week at straight time.

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Monday
Apr112011

Laborers Praise Governor Dayton's New Job Creating Executive Orders

The Laborers District Council of MN & ND today praised Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton for issuing three executive orders late last week that create a comprehensive energy conservation and sustainability action plan for state government, with a goal of generating millions in budget savings and creating thousands of new jobs.

 

"We are grateful for Governor Dayton's leadership in proposing this job creating measure which is a Win, Win, Win for Minnesota. This executive order will create thousands of Minnesota construction jobs, make state buildings more energy efficient and cost effective and stimulate green manufacturing in Minnesota all without increasing the state budget or reducing its bonding capacity," said Todd Pufahl, Legislative Director for the Laborers District Council.

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Thursday
Apr072011

MNDOT Announces $900 Million in Projects for 2011

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced their construction program for 2011. The program, worth $900,000,000 will "increase safety, improve mobility, extend capacity and preserve infrastructure statewide," according to a department press release.

“Minnesota’s transportation system is a vital part of the state’s infrastructure and is essential for a strong and vibrant state economy,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “These projects will support thousands of jobs in Minnesota, from the construction workers directly working on the projects to others who work in the support industries for construction.” 

 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr032011

Laborers Launch New Website and Blog

The Laborers District Council of MN & ND launched a new website and blog today. The new website is designed to keep members and signatory contractors up to date on the latest happenings with the Laborers Union. "We wanted a website that would not only be an information resource for our members and contractors, but would also be a dynamic source of information about the latest news in our industries," said Russell Hess, Political Coordinator for the Laborers District Council.

"The Hod and Laser" is the new blog focusing on news and information of interest to Laborers and the broader construction industry. "The name reflects both the past and future of our trade," said Russell Hess, the primary author of the new blog. "Most people don't realize it, but there is more to being a construction laborer than just doing the grunt work. Our trade is becoming more and more reliant on high tech tools to do the work we used brute force on in the past."

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