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It’s the little things: the smiles from Minnesota’s top political leaders as they walk in and out of the governor’s residence in St. Paul, a double thumbs-up from a state lawmaker as he exits a meeting, brief glimpses of negotiators sharing lighthearted conversation in the foyer. It’s not much, but it’s all reporters got at the end of three full days of negotiations between tight-lipped state leaders as they try to close a deal on the state’s two-year, $40 billion budget and figure out how to spend a nearly $2 billion budget surplus.Time is running short. DFL Gov.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., joined a group of senators in urging the United States Trade Representative to include strong labor protections as part of the negotiation over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying that many parts of the proposed agreement currently fall short of acceptable standards.In a letter to Ambassador Michael Froman, Sen. Franken and thirteen other senators—led by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio —expressed their concerns over workers’ rights in Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Mexico.

By Richard Trumka, President/AFL-CIO from The Washington Post:The Trans-Pacific Partnership being negotiated between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations has been characterized as the most progressive trade agreement in our history, with the strongest labor and environment provisions ever.   But what is the benchmark? To date, the United States has never had a trade agreement that protects basic rights and raises wages and living standards for working people.

JOBS NOW CoalitionJob Vacancy FACT SHEET—May 2015One Job Opening for Every Job Seeker in the Twin CitiesFor the first time in fourteen years, the Twin Cities Metro Region has the same number of job seekers as job openings.*  According to the updated Job Vacancy Survey from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), there are 49,000 unemployed job seekers and 49,000 job openings.**Over the last year, the number of Metro job openings rose 50 percent.  Here are the occupations with the largest year-to-year increases followed by their median wage offers: ·       Per

Congress is pushing legislation right now that would "Fast Track" the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a secretive agreement negotiated behind closed doors by government bureaucrats and more than 600 corporate lobbyists. It threatens everything you care about: democracy, jobs, the environment, and the Internet.  UFCW Local 1189 joined a crowd off activists and concerned citizens in front of Senator Amy Klobuchar's office asking her to do the right thing.  Call Amy, tell her to vote against fast track!  1-877-795-7862. Tell her to say YES to democracy! and No "Fast Track" for the TPP!


The Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives Health and Human Services (HHS) omnibus finance bills are now in conference committee, and while I look forward to reaching a compromise with our House counterparts, it’s important to note something that’s not up for negotiation: the House GOP’s proposal to eliminate MinnesotaCare.  MinnesotaCare is an important program that helps low-income working families receive quality health care and has worked for Minnesotans since it was enacted in 1992.

Edward T. Chambers, a lapsed seminarian who succeeded Saul Alinsky as leader of Mr. Alinsky’s social justice foundation, advancing his radical agenda of community organizing and grounding its progressive objectives in the Gospels, died on April 26 at a nursing home near his home in Drimoleague, Ireland. He was 85.  Read the full New York Times article here.

Legislation Would Increase Federal Minimum Wage to $12 Per Hour by 2020 and Boost Wages for Nearly 38 Million Americans WASHINGTON, D.C. [04/30/15]—Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) joined 32 of his Senate colleagues in introducing a bill to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 to help more families make ends meet, expand economic opportunity, and help build an economy that works for the middle class and those aspiring to join the middle class. The Raise the Wage Act, originally sponsored by Sen.