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Last week, representatives from twelve nations – including the United States – signed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. TPP would liberalize trade in 40% of the global economy.  Signing this deal does not mean it has been ratified.  The 12 nations signing TPP –Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam – must receive final approval from their respective governments.  Here in the U.S. that means the consent of Congress is required.

The Minnesota AFL-CIO is proud to have scholarships available for Union members and their dependents.  Information is available below regarding the 2016 MN AFL-CIO and Martin Duffy Adult Learner Scholarship application forms.  The MN AFL-CIO Scholarship is awarded to five recipients in 2016 to graduating high school seniors who are Union members or dependents of Union members.

Online applications will be accepted from any student who has graduated from high school, will be graduating in the spring of 2016, or has received their GED.  This year, the application will be available from January 20-April 16, 2016 and at least six scholarships worth up to $8000 will be awarded over a 4-year period.  Click on the links below for further information or click here to go directly to the UFCW scholarship page.

From startribune.com, 2/3/16:  When St. Paul City Council Member Rebecca Noecker got a call on Monday that her son was sick at day care, she had to worry about missing meetings and postponing calls — but she didn’t have to think about going a day without pay.  “The fact of the matter is, I’m white and I’m middle class, so I’m really, really lucky,” Noecker said at a news conference Wednesday. Many of the city’s residents who most need paid sick time cannot get it, she said.  That may change next year.  The St.

From cincinnati.com (part of the USA Today network), 2/3/16:  Cincinnati became the first city in Ohio to pass an ordinance to improve enforcement of existing wage laws.  Members of city council voted 7-2 Wednesday to pass the ordinance. Under the measure, if the city or another agency determines a company has committed wage theft, city officials would be able to have the money returned and the company would be barred from doing business with the city.  Against it: Council’s two Republican members, Amy Murray and Charlie Winburn.

Join United States Secretary of Labor Perez and local leaders for the first Regional Worker Voice Summit. Regional Summits are focused on bringing together seasoned and emerging leaders from across the country who are lifting up workers' voices to be active participants in this conversation.  February 9, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.

From qz.com 1/14/16:  The US may be on the cusp of creating a home-grown industry from a long-demonized plant. The US hemp industry is pushing hard for a measure that would make it legal for US businesses to produce the substance, and if lawmakers approve it, consumers could soon find US-grown hemp in their food, baby products, fabric, fuel, paint, body-care products, paper, carpet, and even auto parts.  The National Hemp Association (NHA) on Wednesday (Jan.