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The North Dakota Building and Constructions Trades Council recently gathered for their 41st annual convention in Fargo, ND on September 4th and 5th. Over 50 delegates from Building and Construction Trades local unions from around the state were in attendance for the convention proceedings. In addition to the general annual business of the Council, the agenda included appearances by elected public officials, endorsed candidates seeking support for the November 4th general election and industry experts, as well as a few high-profile international union and labor federation leaders.


We're on our phones all day, returning that text from mom, checking fantasy football scores and deleting all those pesky store emails we don't remember signing up for, but it's about time we use our phones for what they're made for: human conversations. If you don’t want 2014 to be a repeat of 2010, it’s time to pick up that phone and make a call to make sure working people in critical states turn out to vote in this election. Read more >>>


In a powerful speech given at the Missouri AFL-CIO Convention, national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka took time to address the shooting of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown and the issues of race and class the shooting reignited in the national conversation. Trumka emphasized that racism is still a significant issue that we face not only as a country, but as a labor movement. He noted that both Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Brown, and Lesley McSpadden, Brown's mother, are union members. Read more >>>

Ron Huff, member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLET) and long-time North Dakota AFL-CIO vice president, was elected on August 21, 2014 to the Board of Trustees of the North Dakota AFL-CIO to fill out a recent vacancy on the Board.

Training Up Down Under

In 2012, the Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) and Australia’s Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) entered into a unique affiliation agreement to combat global climate change by sharing industry best practices, particularly around alternate forms of energy generation, such as biofuels and geothermal technology. The affiliation allows for joint skills training and employment initiatives in the United States, Canada and Australia. Read the full article>>>

It's pretty frustrating seeing all the headlines that claim the economy is alive and kicking. Sure, there is economic growth and a steady increase in jobs, but what kind of jobs are we talking about exactly? Well, they aren't the kind of jobs we think of first when it comes to steady, middle-class jobs. No big surprise here, low-wage service sector jobs like those in the fast-food industry are seeing the biggest gains. Bryce Covert at The New Republic has a nice summary of what America's workers are up against when it comes to wages. Read more >>>

When President Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for president, he said: “I am running in this race because of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ Because I believe that there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.” Like Dr. King, our president was calling on America to make real the promises of our democracy. That fierce urgency of now is here for thousands of refugee children from Central America. I know many of these kids’ stories because it is my story, too. Read more >>>

The North Dakota AFL-CIO held its 55th annual convention on May 16 and 17th in Fargo, North Dakota at the Doublewood Inn. There were nearly 80 delegates in attendance and over 30 unions represented at the two-day convention.

The North Dakota Young Workers held a lunch-time action planning session focused around North Dakota’s new Voter ID laws, and educating our co-workers on these changes to ensure they are not denied the right to vote in November. Staff from the ACLU of the Dakotas and the South Dakota AFL-CIO were guests.

Fraternal greetings were brought from both Minnesota and South Dakota respectively by Shar Knutson, President Minnesota AFL-CIO and Mark Anderson, President South Dakota AFL-CIO. President Knutson discussed their recent victory on raising the minimum wage, while President Anderson spoke on the legislative landscape of South Dakota, particularly their upcoming ballot initiative to increase the minimum wage in South Dakota to $8.50.

In addition to general federation business, the main focus of this convention was to endorse candidates for the upcoming November 2014 election. The endorsements for statewide races are as follows:

  • U.S. House - George Sinner
  • Attorney General - Kiara Kraus-Parr
  • Agriculture Commissioner - Ryan Taylor
  • Secretary of State - April Fairfield
  • Public Service Commissioner - Todd Reisenauer
  • Public Service Commissioner - Tyler Axness
  • Tax Commissioner - Jason Astrup

State legislative endorsements will be announced by their respective labor councils in the upcoming week.

Read more >>>

This past Monday, Workers Memorial Day was observed nation-wide by labor, faith and other community groups. In North Dakota, The Northern Plains, Northern Valley and Missouri Slope Labor Councils commemorated the annual event with observances in Fargo-Moorhead, Grand Forks-East Grand Forks, and Bismarck North Dakota, respectively.

Workers Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have lost their lives or been injured on the job, and to renew our commitment to improve safety for workers in North Dakota.

The North Dakota AFL-CIO would like to thank the hard working brothers and sisters at each of the aforementioned labor councils who put a lot of time and effort to make these observances really special and meaningful. This year they each had an extremely good turnout from the community, thanks to their hard work.

Click "Read More" for links to press clippings for each event, as well as statewide coverage of North Dakota's workplace fatality rate being the highest in the nation.
 

Read more >>>

Fargo, ND - A coalition of local organizations screened Robert Reich's Sundance award-winning documentary INEQUALITY FOR ALL to a packed house at the Fargo Theatre Second Screen last Thursday evening. Approximately ninety-nine community members took advantage the opportunity to view and discuss this award-winning documentary about income inequality in our nation and the way it has shaped our economy and democracy.

The 2013 AFL-CIO Legislative Voting Record for the North Dakota delegation are now available.

House:
Rep. Kevin Cramer voted against working families a whopping 15 times out of a total of 21 votes taken during 2013. This gives Rep. Cramer a dismal 2013 and lifetime voting record of 29%.

It should be noted that one of the six votes Rep. Cramer took that was considered supportive of working families was actually a vote to end the Federal government shutdown, the very same shutdown that he and his friends were responsible for weeks prior.

Senate:
In 2013 Sen. John Hoeven voted 6 times for working families legislation and 12 times against working families legislation. This gives Sen. Hoeven a 33% AFL-CIO voting record for 2013 and a lifetime average of 21%.

On the other hand, in 2013 Sen. Heidi Heitkamp voted an astounding 100% of the time for legislation that supports working families. The ND AFL-CIO applauds Sen. Heitkamp for championing working families agenda and representing the hard working families in North Dakota. www.aflcio.org/Legislation-and-Politics/Legislative-Voting-Records


More detail on the votes that were tracked can be found at here at the AFL-CIO website.

FREE PUBLIC SCREENING of Robert Reich's award-winning documentary "Inequality of All."

Thursday, April 17, 2014
7 PM
Second Screen at the Fargo Theatre

Join us and our friends at North Dakota AFL - CIO, North Dakota Community Action Partnership, North Dakota Economic Security and Prosperity Alliance (NDESPA), North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, and the City of Fargo of Human Relations Commission for a FREE PUBLIC SCREENING of Robert Reich's award-winning documentary "Inequality for All.

Inequality for All Facebook link for more information

Following the film there will be a panel discussion with individuals and organizations representing social services and public policy.

The 24th annual North Dakota International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) ice fishing tournament was held Saturday, February 22 at the Woodlands Resort in Devils Lake, ND. The tournament drew an impressive turnout of over 100 members and their families, from eleven different IBEW locals. Participating IBEW Locals included: 31, 160, 231,242, 292, 343, 387, 714, 949, 1426, and 1593.
  Read more >>>

The South Dakota AFL-CIO has been busy working on an important ballot initiative in coalition with the South Dakota Democratic Party, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and other coalition partners.

The minimum wage in South Dakota is currently $7.25 per hour for non-tipped hourly employees, and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees. This ballot initiative would raise the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour for non-tipped hourly employees, and $4.25 for tipped employees. Also, this measure would index the minimum wage to South Dakota inflation

Read more >>>

The North Dakota Building and Construction Trades Council state association met on December 6th at the Bismarck Labor Hall, where they appointed Jason Ehlert as the new president.

Jason is a member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) local 1962. He was raised in a union household - the son of a union bricklayer. He earned a social studies teaching degree from Concordia College and worked as a union teacher for 3 years before joining the Bricklayers. He later joined the IUPAT and is now a full-time organizer in North Dakota for IUPAT Council 82.

Read more >>>

Last week United Steelworkers Local 663 ratified a new contract with Cretex. Local 663 members proudly produce a wide range of concrete products, such as pipe, bridge beams and culverts at Cretex's Menoken, ND plant.

The negotiating team met with management only three times before they were finished. The first meeting was in November, and than again on the 30th and 31st of January.
Tom Pfliger, USW Local 663 president, credits both his negotiating team and the company for things going so smoothly.

Read more >>>

The North Dakota AFL-CIO warmly welcomes it's newest affiliate, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local Lodge W384. IAMAW Local Lodge W384 represents the hard working men and women at the Motor Coach Industries, Ltd (MCI) manufacturing facility in Pembina, ND.
 

The North Dakota and Minnesota Labor community presents the "Summer of Solidarity" tour: free evening of activism, food and music celebrating working-class struggle and solidarity.

"The Summer of Solidarity Tour is a 17-day, 13-city coast-to-coast tour of Steelworker local union activists and community allies from across the country aimed at supporting local struggles and connecting them with the broader fight against corporate power."

Summer of Solidarity Facebook Event Page

With less than a week to go in the North Dakota Legislature, the N.D. AFL-CIO is pushing hard to protect working men and women in the state, and urgin the Governor to veto legislation that hurts our workers and gives industry the ability to "lock out" any worker and deny them unemployment assistance. Help us stand up against this bill. Read more >>>

HB 1112, a bill that will deny unemployment assistance to any worker who has been "locked out" of their job, has passed the Senate and the House in North Dakota. Contact our Governor and tell him to veto this anti-worker legislation. Read more >>>

The severe winter storm that has hit the state and the capital city especially hard has canceled legislative work at the Capitol for at least one day. But action will continue soon, and the N.D. AFL-CIO needs your help to fight against the lockout bill and voter ID. Read more >>>

The North Dakota state Legislature is winding down for this session, but the N.D. AFL-CIO is hard at work, tracking legislation that affects our workers. This upcoming week, we will need your assistance in helping locked-out workers receive assistance. Read more >>>

All of the latest action in the state Legislature, including bills on pain, voting and lockouts, and the full list of legislation being tracked by the N.D. AFL-CIO. Read more >>>

Here is all the latest information on the state Legislature and bills that the North Dakota AFL-CIO are tracking and taking action on, for the week of March 25, 2013. Read more >>>

Right now, our state Legislature is deliberating on a piece of legislation that would fundamentally alter our state’s system of voting. HB 1332 would deny people the right to vote unless they can provide a drivers license, a state-issued identification card or tribal government ID.
Learn more about this voter-suppression measure, and what it will mean to you and your rights.
  Read more >>>

Crossover break is over at the North Dakota State Legislature, and legislators returned to begin deliberations on bills sent over from the opposite chamber. This week's N.D. AFL-CIO Legislative Update tells you about a voter-suppression bill being debated this week in the Senate, and more. Read more >>>

Crossover is coming soon at the North Dakota Legislature. Before it does, the Senate is due to take up a vote on SB 2224, to grant unemployment assistance to workers who have been locked out of their jobs. This week's N.D. AFL-CIO Legislative Update tells you how you can help to pass this important legislation, and all the bills our organization is tracking. Read more >>>

Your weekly update for all the latest happenings in the 2013 N.D. Legislative Session, and the bills that the N.D. AFL-CIO is tracking, by President Tom Ricker. Read more >>>

This past week in the North Dakota State Legislature, there were hearings concerning WSI, voting and pensions for state employees, among many other bills that were heard. Click here to read about three of particular interest to the North Dakota AFL-CIO. Read more >>>

On Jan. 30, the North Dakota AFL-CIO participated in a National Day of Action with the national AFL-CIO to urge Congress to SAY NO to cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in the upcoming fiscal showdown. In addition they urged congress to close loopholes for the 2% and avoid sequestration. Across the country, working men and women all stood together, strong and proud, in support of our great middle class.

As part of this National Day of Action, the North Dakota AFL-CIO brought together over 30 union members from 10 affiliate unions to the U.S. Federal Building in Bismarck, to stand together for what’s right and to meet with the staff of Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven, and Rep. Kevin Cramer. This delegation included members from the: United Steel Workers, International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Communications Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Operating Engineers, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Ironworkers, Graphic Communicators International Union, as well as the Northern Valley Labor Council and the Missouri Slope Labor Council.

Despite snowstorms and -40 degree wind chills, the North Dakota AFL-CIO gathered together 20 young workers for our Young Workers Meeting from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan 29.

We're almost a month into the legislative session, and the N.D. AFL-CIO has been busy, to say the least, keeping track of legislation that directly affects our affiliates and all of the working class in the state.
Here's the latest update on all that's happening with the N.D. AFL-CIO, on the ground at the state Capitol. Read more >>>

N.D. AFL-CIO Standing Up for Workers at State Legislature
By Tom Ricker, N.D. AFL-CIO President

This past Tuesday was the opening day of the 2013 North Dakota Legislative Session. Renee Pfenning, our 1st Vice President of the N.D. AFL-CIO, and I attended Gov. Dalrymple’s state of the state speech on the first day of the session, and we intend to be at the Capitol every day, every moment that we can, representing working families statewide and reminding our legislators just how much labor does for the good of our state each day.

Read more >>>

ON TAX DAY, NORTH DAKOTANS DELIVER “PENNIES FOR SERVICE”

Members of the Missouri Slope Central Labor Council in Bismarck, ND symbolically delivered pennies to the offices of Senator Conrad, Senator Hoven and Congressman Berg today, April 17th. This action was part of an AFL-CIO “National Day of Action” to protest congressional corporate tax giveaways that leave North Dakota's working families holding the bill on Tax Day.

Last week, ND AFL-CIO supporters joined thousands of union members and community partners in a National Day of Action for Verizon workers who are trying to win a fair contract.

During the 2010 ND AFL-CIO convention, President Kemnitz had union members sign their names to a resolution which serves as a tribute to Senator Byron Dorgon

Click here to view PDF version of the AFL-CIO Tribute to Senator Dorgan

 

 

AFL-CIO Workers Bill of Rights

Every working person in America has the right to free speech, to dignity and respect on the job and to pursue a better life for themselves and their families. We are guaranteed our rights under the constitution - and we don't give them up when we become an employee of any business or organization. No employer can take away our rights or use their power to violate or deny us our rights.

As working Americans, we have the right:

* To decent, secure jobs, without forfeiting any basic human and constitutional rights.

* To be paid a living wage, to be rewarded fairly and equitably for our work and to share in the gains we created for our employers.

* To speak freely and openly in our workplaces, to talk with our co-workers on any subject we choose - including joining a union- without fear of reprisal.

* To meet with co-workers to peacefully assemble with any other individuals for any purpose - including to organize a union.

* To distribute literature expressing our views without being harassed, intimidated, threatened or fired

* To make life better for ourselves and our families by joining or forming a union and striving for a decent standard of living, opportunities for advancement and a secure future.

* To make the choice to join a union through a democratic procedure without pressure, interference, threats, harassment or retaliation of any kind from our employers.

Pledge To Support Workers' Rights

I endorse the rights of working people set forth above. If elected, I promise to defend the free and unimpeded exercise of these rights.

Signed_________________________ Date ________________

Candidate for _____________________________________________________

The North Dakota Labor Leaders Scholarship is open to any union member or the family of a union member who plans on attending a North Dakota University, College, Technical or Trade School. 

New Labor Talk Radio on KNDS with Kevin and Heather Murch!

The North Dakota AFL-CIO is the state federation of labor representing over 15,000 members of over 80 unions throughout North Dakota.

The mission of the North Dakota AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families—to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation. To accomplish this mission, we work to:

  • Build a broad movement of North Dakota workers by helping workers join and form unions.
  • Support North Dakota workers as they bargain with employers to improve their living conditions and workplaces, as well as their communities, state and nation.
  • Strengthen the voice of North Dakota working families at all levels of government and in a changing global economy.

The North Dakota AFL-CIO is a key part of the nation's largest and strongest labor federation—the AFL-CIO, which unites 10.5 million working women and men of every race and ethnicity and from every walk of life.

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