Minneapolis, MN – On Tuesday, September 26, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 members at Seward Community Co-op voted by an overwhelming majority to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice strike as they head towards their September 27 bargaining session with management. This vote comes as a result of management’s harassment and intimidation of workers over the past three weeks after the expiration of the previous contract on August 22, which took with it the right to arbitration following grievance procedures.
Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement by the Climate Justice Committee of Minnesota.
The Climate Justice Committee (CJC) resolutely condemns the recent felony RICO indictments of 61 Stop Cop City activists in Atlanta, as well as the refusal by the Atlanta city government to count the 116,000 petition signatures to put Cop City on the ballot. These blatantly anti-democratic and criminal actions by the Georgia Attorney General, the Mayor of Atlanta, and Atlanta elections officials will not go unanswered.
Minneapolis, MN – “All of us were brutalized. I saw my friends kicked, punched, pushed into walls, put in chokeholds,” said Lauren Pineiro to a 100-person crowd that nearly filled the University of Minnesota lecture hall. “The chief of police even groped a student.”
Minneapolis, MN – On Monday, September 25, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663 members at Seward Community Co-op are set to take an authorization vote for an Unfair Labor Practice strike. This follows several weeks of bargaining and struggle on the shop floor on several issues between workers and management.
St. Paul, MN – The Climate Justice Committee and allies held a press conference at Metro State University to hold the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) accountable as they start the three year rulemaking process for a new cumulative impacts law passed in Minnesota in 2023. This cumulative impacts law would not just take into account air pollution from one business at a particular site but would look at the cumulative impacts of pollution in the area and make permitting decisions based on historic pollution and how the community in the area has already been impacted.
The MPCA is responsible for permitting all businesses that have an impact of soil, water and air pollution and was responsible for the permitting of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline.
At this event, the CJC showed up to hold MPCA accountable for its current and future actions around the issue of air pollution.
“Why is the MPCA not working harder to outreach to the communities they say they want to protect, like East Phillips. I am a student at Metro State, and I wouldn’t have known this event was happening if the CJC hadn’t done this event. We see this as another time when communities like East Phillips in Minneapolis will be let down by legislation that could benefit them. It’s time to end half-measures and leniency for people who poison us!” said Mordecai Mika of the Climate Justice Committee.
Mair Allen from the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy stated, “I’ve lived in East Phillips for 13 years, and I think about my 11-year-old neighbor who died in his house of an asthma attack. And I think about the people who can leave their windows open and can walk around their neighborhoods without coughing; everyone benefits from the environment, but those benefits are uneven. There is no such thing as a ‘community benefit’, it’s not possible to benefit from not having pollution. We shouldn’t have to fight for clean air.” Mair was referring to one part of the legislation that includes making “community benefit” agreements with businesses that would be legally binding.
Climate Justice Committee members and supporters then went into the MPCA meeting to ask questions. The MPCA had intended to only take written comments, but CJC members and other community members forced the MPCA representatives to listen to comments. Several audience members talked about the current lack of community outreach and in particular the lack of indigenous input. Others pointed out the distrust of the MPCA because of its history permitting Line 3. MPCA now knows that the community is watching and will be there to force them to do the right thing and get polluters out of our neighborhoods.
Minneapolis, MN – United Food and Commercial Workers 663 workers at Seward Community Co-op have been working without a contract since their previous one expired on August 20 of this year, and in bargaining for a new agreement, management has fought against workers’ demands on nearly every issue.
Minneapolis, MN – On Wednesday, August 30, the Climate Justice Committee held a rally outside the corporate offices of Wells Fargo in downtown Minneapolis to call attention to the key role that big banks and their government allies play in funding fossil fuel projects and manufacturing the conditions for what is now the planet’s hottest summer in recorded history.
Minneapolis, MN – At their August 17 meeting, the Minneapolis city council voted 7-5 to pass the “Fair Drives Safe Rides” ordinance that would enact a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers as well as protections for drivers against “deactivation” – the companies’ term for firing their drivers.
Minneapolis, MN – On August 8, a proposed ordinance that would guarantee Uber and Lyft drivers a minimum wage and give them some protections against “deactivation” (firing) came one step closer to becoming law in Minneapolis.