As Minnesotans observe the Labor Day holiday, statistics reveal the number of union members in the state continues to erode. At its peak in 1992, the rate of union membership in Minnesota was at 22 percent. In 2011 it was at 15.1 percent, down from 15.6 percent in 2010.
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State Senator wants to make union membership voluntary
Republican Senator Dave Thompson of Lakeville is pushing a proposal that would allow Minnesota workers to opt out of unions. If lawmakers pass his "right to work" legislation, the question would appear before voters in the fall as a proposed amendment to the state Constitution.
Grad students at the University of Minnesota wrap up unionization vote
MPR reports votes will be counted Monday and should only take a few hours. If the majority of the more than 4000 student workers voted in favor of it, all grad students would be obligated to pay the $200-$350 dues each year. This is the fifth time graduate students at the University of Minnesota have tried to unionize.
Union workers pack Capitol as 'right to work' proposal goes to Senate committee
Union members by the hundreds filed into the state Capitol on Monday morning as a group of Senate lawmakers discussed a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it harder for unions to organize. Critics of the bill say it would lower wages and cut benefits for middle-class families. Supporters say it would help businesses create new jobs.
Best Buy drops ALEC membership
Richfield-based Best Buy is among the latest group of companies to withdraw its membership with American Legislative Exchange Council, MPR reports. ALEC says it is a bipartisan organization, but the policies it supports and its membership tend to be conservative.
Dayton won't keep pushing for child care union vote
The Ramsey County judge who blocked a unionization vote by child care workers ruled that Governor Dayton had exceeded his authority by ordering the vote without involving the Legislature. Dayton says he disagrees with the ruling but has decided against an appeal.
U grad students prepare to vote on union, backed by United Auto Workers
Graduate students at the University of Minnesota are taking another shot at unionization. This time proponents of the idea have joined up with the United Auto Workers. A vote to organize would mean students would be obligated to pay dues (even non-members), and the school would be obligated to bargain in good faith.
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