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Janitors with Local 26 have been bargaining a contract for months, and their employers have dug in their heels. Today, February 17, 2016, they are on a ULP strike across the metro for a fair contract for their families. It is going to be very big and very powerful. If you’d like to support on social media, feel free to change your avatar today to the support image. Feel free to share with your organizations/networks/friends as well. The janitors appreciate the support.  Below are two great examples of why janitors are taking this huge step.

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.Trade is vital to the U.S.

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.

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.

February 1, 2016 Holding steady in Minnesota, union density plunges in Right-to-Work WisconsinUnion members made up 14.2 percent of Minnesota’s wage-earning and salaried workforce last year, a membership rate unchanged from 2014, according to an annual report released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  A similar trend played out nationwide, as the union membership rate held steady at 11.1 percent of the U.S. workforce.

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