City, County and School Board

 
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LIUNA, the Laborers' International Union of North America, is a strong and proud union of workers founded by immigrants in 1903. A half-million strong across the country, we are united through collective bargaining agreements which help us earn family-supporting pay, good benefits and the opportunity for advancement and better lives.
 
Members run LIUNA, electing officers at all levels and participating in the day-to-day affairs of their Local Unions. Members set priorities for contracts and are key to the union's growth and success. The mission of LIUNA is implemented through nine Regions, more than forty District Councils and 380 Local Unions.
 
The Laborers' District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota, Minnesota’s infrastructure union, represents and serves more than 28,000 members and family members of five Local Unions: Local 363 (City of Minneapolis and City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Public Housing employees); Local 405 (Rochester and Southeast Minnesota); Local 563 (Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro, Mankato, Saint Cloud and North Dakota); Local 1091 (Duluth-Superior, Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin); and Local 1097 (Iron Range and Northern Minnesota). We are your friends and neighbors building our future and quality of life.
 
LIUNA operates Minnesota’s largest and most diverse skilled construction apprenticeship program. We partner with more than 800 union contractors to enhance worker skills and promote workplace safety at our training center in Lino Lakes. Our Registered Apprenticeship Program leads a diverse workforce to job and career opportunities.

LIUNA is one of Minnesota's largest and most politically active unions. We are proud to support leaders who share our values and priorities:
  • Creating family-sustaining jobs
  • Protecting working peoples’ freedom to negotiate a fair return on work
  • Providing affordable health care and retirement security
  • Advancing all workers’ freedom to prosper so that we can provide for and have the time to be with our families
LIUNA members engage in political action to protect our livelihoods. Every year thousands of LIUNA members make personal phone calls, talk to fellow members and visit the Legislature and Congress to advocate for good jobs and to hold elected leaders accountable. LIUNA members also vote and give their hard-earned wages in political contributions. We support candidates from both political parties who work with us. Our members, retirees and families want to help elect champions of working people.

Work hard and good luck on the campaign trail. We look forward to working with you in the future.

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* 1. Date:

Date

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* 2. Candidate and campaign information:

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* 5. Are you an active, retired or former union member?

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* 6. Are you seeking a financial contribution from LIUNA members to your campaign?

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* 7. What is your plan to win?

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* 8. What is your role in helping to create and protect family-supporting jobs and career opportunities in your area?

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* 9. All working people should have the freedom to join a union to make their workplaces better and negotiate for the wages and benefits they deserve. Unions advocate for working people to keep us safer, healthier and able to enjoy a higher quality of life. Collective bargaining provides workers the opportunity to have a say on decisions affecting their pay, working conditions and benefits. Posing under the intentionally misleading terms "Right to Work", collective bargaining is under attack by right wing extremists who are pushing for legislation at the state and federal level to deny workers the right to join unions. 

Can we count on you to protect working peoples' freedom to prosper, publicly affirm the benefits of collective bargaining and publicly oppose and vote against any so-called "Right to Work" legislation?

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* 10. Prevailing wage requirements guarantee living wages for local construction workers on many transportation, water, energy, housing and other building construction projects funded or financed with taxpayer dollars. Prevailing wage laws, also known as Davis-Bacon laws, ensure construction workers earn a fair wage, and they lead to safer, higher-quality work and stability for local economies. Prevailing wage laws ensure that labor costs are uniform, allowing contractors to compete for public projects based on skill, productivity, and management abilities, not on who can scrape together the cheapest workforce. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry sets the prevailing wage rates to be comparable to wages paid for similar work in the county where the construction project is located. The rates are determined through surveys of actual wages paid to construction workers in the local community. LIUNA opposes any effort to weaken or repeal prevailing wage laws.

Can we count on you to oppose any effort to weaken or repeal prevailing wage laws?

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* 11. A growing number of local units of government, including cities, counties and school districts across Minnesota have adopted prevailing wage ordinances or bid specifications to ensure safe, high-quality construction while maintaining family-supporting wages, preserving a level playing field for local workers and contractors and preventing wage theft, insurance fraud, and worker exploitation on locally-funded construction projects.

Can we count on you to support the use and enforcement of prevailing wage requirements for city/county/school district-supported construction projects under your jurisdiction?

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* 12. Project Labor Agreements (PLAs), which have been used for generations, are collective bargaining agreements between building trade unions and contractors. They govern terms and conditions of employment for all craft workers—union and nonunion—on a construction project. A typical PLA will establish uniform standards for working hours, overtime, holidays, grievance procedures, drug testing, jurisdictional dispute resolution, etc. PLAs are particularly useful on large, complex construction projects that require many skilled craft workers, and that are expected to last a long period of time, and on projects that are particularly time-sensitive. They protect taxpayers by eliminating costly delays due to labor conflicts or shortages of skilled workers.

Can we count on you to support the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for publicly-funded projects and promote their effectiveness as a project-delivery tool at all levels of government and in the private sector?

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* 13. Wage theft is a rampant problem in the non-union construction industry where immigrant workers are often exploited, and it drives down standards for all workers. Wage theft is the unlawful withholding of wages or benefits due to an employee. It can take many different forms – from illegal “deductions” from an employee’s pay to outright not paying an employee at all. Incorrectly classifying an employee as an independent contractor is also a pervasive problem in Minnesota. LIUNA has worked to expose unscrupulous employers and brought cases to the attention of the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) that have already secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in back-wages owed to dozens of immigrant construction workers. In May 2019, the Legislature passed a new Minnesota Wage Theft Prevention Act to create additional protections for workers, including adding criminal penalties for employers that commit wage theft. This law included additional funding to allow DLI to add staff members needed to perform strategic and targeted workplace enforcement and to conduct outreach and education for employers, workers and their communities.

Can we count on you to work with us to prevent wage theft on locally-funded and locally-permitted construction projects by implementing wage theft prevention policies and/or ordinances in your area?

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* 14. Minnesota's Responsible Contractor Law provides enhanced contractor accountability for public construction projects. The law sets minimum standards for responsible contractors and requires that certain public construction be awarded only to responsible contractors. Agencies and local units of government still have discretion to consider additional factors. Responsible contractors must be in compliance with federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Davis Bacon Act requirements and Minnesota requirements including but not limited to: workers compensation, unemployment insurance, minimum wage, overtime, prevailing wage, prompt payment of wages, payment to employees who quit or resign, and proper representation of employment relationship. Contractors are ineligible for public construction projects if their Certificate of Compliance is revoked more than twice throughout three years or if they are suspended or debarred by the federal government or the state of Minnesota or any of its departments, commissions, agencies, or political subdivisions.

Can we count on you to carefully consider a construction bidder's past performance and compliance with applicable legal and contractual requirements before determining whether the bidder is a responsible contractor and therefore eligible for a contractor award and hold municipal construction contractors accountable for meeting all of their legal and contractual obligations, including proper payment and treatment of workers and compliance with contract specifications?

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* 15. LIUNA's privately-funded Registered Apprenticeship Program trains Minnesota workers to become highly skilled, well-paid construction workers through a debt-free, state-of-the-art education. Apprentices earn as they learn and train while they work to receive family-supporting wages, healthcare and retirement benefits. LIUNA is proud to operate Minnesota’s largest and most diverse skilled construction apprenticeship program. We partner with more than 800 union contractors to enhance worker skills and promote workplace safety at our training center in Lino Lakes. Minnesota's Building and Construction Trades unions support construction workforce training through Registered Apprenticeship Programs and age-appropriate and safe career exposure and exploration programs for youth. We oppose child labor and a new proposal by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to allow so called "Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs" (IRAPs) in construction, because they compromise labor standards and wages.

Can we count on you to support construction workforce training through Registered Apprenticeship Programs and age-appropriate and safe career exposure and exploration programs for youth, including requiring or incentivizing employment of apprentices on public works projects?

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* 16. Right now, we have hundreds of LIUNA members on the bench that need jobs. We are seeing project delays and cancellations as a result of the COVID-19 and economic crises. Large, balanced and statewide infrastructure bonding bills that maximize the creation of high-quality water, transportation and building construction jobs will stimulate economic recovery and keep Minnesotans working well into the future. The State of Minnesota has a AAA bond rating and the debt capacity. Interest rates are at historic lows. We cannot afford to let a robust bonding bill be held hostage as occurred in both of the past two legislative sessions, costing our state 45,000 jobs. Every year should be the year to invest in our infrastructure and create jobs.

Can we count on you to support large ($2-3 billion) statewide infrastructure bonding bills that maximize the creation of high-quality water, transportation and building construction jobs?

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* 17. Minnesotans want safer roads and bridges, and more transit options. Minnesota's crumbling infrastructure is putting our safety at risk. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently graded our roads a 'D+', bridges a 'C' and transit a 'C-'. Reducing the 350 deaths on our highways every year and fixing thousands of miles of roads in poor condition and hundreds of structurally deficient bridges needs to be a top priority. Investments in transportation infrastructure benefit everyone. A comprehensive transportation funding package will make Minnesotans safer and create 84,000-126,000 family-supporting construction jobs. And improving key corridors for freight will boost the state's economy by helping manufacturers and farmers get their products to market more efficiently.

Minnesota is facing an $18 billion funding gap over the next 20 years just to maintain our current system of state and county highways, city streets, town roads and bridges. Nearly all funding for Minnesota roads and bridges is received from constitutionally dedicated revenue sources: the state fuel tax, state motor vehicle registration tax and state motor vehicle sales tax. Minnesota needs new, dedicated revenue to meet the need.

Can we count on you to publicly support a sustainable, comprehensive, long-term and dedicated transportation funding package that increases Minnesota's constitutionally dedicated user fees, specifically the state fuel tax, state motor vehicle registration tax, and state motor vehicle sales tax, and/or creates a new long term, stable and predictable funding source to meet the need for our state and county highways, city streets, town roads and bridges?

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* 18. Besides increasing dedicated funding sources to "catch up" and meet the need for our current system of state and county highways, city streets, town roads and bridges, Minnesota needs to "keep up" and meet the need in the future. Indexing the state fuel tax to the Consumer Price Index or a similar index would prevent the state's capacity to maintain roads and bridges to be eroded by inflationary cost increases. Indexing would increase the state fuel tax by approximately one cent per year. The loss of value and deterioration of our roads and bridges will continue to be on auto-pilot if the Legislature does not index the state fuel tax.

Can we count on you to publicly support indexing the state fuel tax or other dedicated funding sources to inflation to ensure Minnesota keeps up and meets the need in the future?

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* 19. Over the next 20 years, Metro and Greater Minnesota transit systems are facing a $2 billion funding gap to maintain our current system and a $5 billion gap to meet the needs of transit users. Increased investment in transit is essential to connect communities, expand access to jobs and housing, stabilize our climate, and improve daily life for Minnesotans of all ages, races, incomes, and abilities. We need long-term, dedicated funding to build a transit system that addresses the state’s growing mobility and safety needs.

Can we count on you to publicly support the creation and dedication of a new revenue stream, such as a one half-cent or one-quarter-cent sales tax in the metro and/or regional centers, to meet the needs of transit users?

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* 20. Minnesota's clean water infrastructure faces urgent needs: aging municipal infrastructure is at or beyond its useful life; treatment upgrades are needed to restore impaired waters and protect threatened waterbodies; chemical and other contamination concerns threaten drinking water systems and require new technology to protect public health; increasing numbers of communities suffer water quality impacts from stormwater runoff and failing septic systems. According to the Office of the Legislative Auditor, Minnesota has $5 billion in wastewater needs over the next 20 years, and according to the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota has $7.5 billion in drinking water needs over the next 20 years.

Can we count on you to support increasing dedicated funding for clean and safe wastewater and drinking water infrastructure?

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* 21. LIUNA supports the early reauthorization and expansion of dedicated lottery proceeds to create a new, long-term, stable and predictable funding stream for clean and safe wastewater and drinking water infrastructure. Currently, 40 percent of lottery proceeds are deposited into the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. The proposal would dedicate an additional 10 percent of the proceeds to be annually allocated as matching funds for clean water infrastructure bonding and the protection of community drinking water supplies, as well as replacement of lead water service lines that threaten Minnesota's children and communities.

Can we count on you to publicly support this specific proposal for increasing dedicated funding for clean and safe wastewater and drinking water infrastructure?

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* 22. Minnesotans want a good life and a better future for our families and for our neighbors. For too long, big corporations and the richest 1% failed to pay their fair share while too many Minnesotans have struggled to get ahead and stay ahead. The greedy few rig the rules against working people, then try to distract us from their actions by using fear to divide people of different races and different places. The COVID-19 and economic crises and the murder of George Floyd have laid bare the deeply rooted inequalities between our communities and neighbors, and the need to reform our revenue sources. LIUNA believes it's time to come together to demand the richest Minnesotans and the largest corporations pay their fair share, so that every Minnesotan - across race and region - has the opportunity to build a better future.

Can we count on you to support efforts to raise new, progressive revenue to fund the things that we know ensure the well-being of our communities: affordable healthcare, education, infrastructure, good jobs, clean air and water and public safety?

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* 23. The second largest source of work for LIUNA members is the energy sector. Our members work with utility industry partners every day to ensure that every Minnesotan has access to affordable and reliable electricity and fuel. We believe that a balanced "all-of-the-above" approach to energy policy offers the best strategy. Our members build windfarms, solar fields, hydro generators, conventional and nuclear plants, and pipelines. As all levels of government look to enact legislation to address climate change, it is imperative that we come up with sensible solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining reliability and affordability, particularly for power generation and home heating, and minimizing the loss of high-quality jobs.

Can we count on you to support a balanced "all of the above" energy strategy, which includes sensible infrastructure investments that keep Minnesota's power and fuel supplies safe, reliable and affordable, and protects Minnesota workers during the transition to lower-carbon energy sources?

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* 24. Skilled local workers have lost hundreds of job opportunities on wind and solar projects, costing local communities tens of millions of dollars in economic development because Minnesota lacked a plan to put local people first in the clean energy transition. Conventional plant host communities and workforce, including LIUNA members, need support as we face the challenge of developing new employment and economic opportunities to replace losses from plant retirements.

Can we count on you to protect local workers and support local communities in the transition from conventional to low-carbon energy by working to ensure that clean energy projects create high-quality local jobs, encouraging industry to work closely with Labor to facilitate a successful clean energy transition, and opposing "low road" developers that take advantage of public subsidies while sidelining local workers?

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* 25. Minnesota’s investor-owned, cooperative, and municipal utilities and our state’s approach to utility regulation have delivered affordable and reliable electric and natural gas service, and provided high-quality union jobs for generations of Minnesotans including thousands of LIUNA members. Unfortunately, Minnesota’s highly-successful regulated utility model is under attack by interest groups that seek to weaken the role of regulated utilities in our electric markets to create unregulated profit-making opportunities at public expense in much the same way that advocates of school vouchers seek to undermine our system of public education. The Minnesota AFL-CIO has called on policymakers to oppose all forms of utility deregulation and to recognize the support the central role regulated utilities in providing reliable, affordable, and fair electric and gas service, including supporting utility ownership of energy assets and resources.

Can we count on you to support Minnesota’s successful system of utility regulation and oppose efforts to deregulate utility services and to shrink the role of regulated, cooperative or municipal utilities in the delivery of electric and gas service?

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* 26. LIUNA supports measures that protect every American's right to vote and ensure the government's responsibility to protect this right. Voting is the very cornerstone of our democracy and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has played a tremendous role in giving disenfranchised communities – and especially communities of color - a voice at the ballot box. The voter suppression efforts we saw in the 2018 elections such as stricter voter registration laws, registered voter purges, expanded voter ID laws, and poll closures in predominantly poor and minority communities all underscore the need to protect and expand voting rights.

Can we count on you to support protecting and expanding voting rights and to oppose the aforementioned voter suppression efforts?

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* 27. LIUNA strongly supports the American Dream and Promise Act, which would allow immigrants who have lived in the United States since childhood, known as Dreamers, as well as individuals covered by the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs, to remain here. Ending TPS and DED would have a significant negative effect on the construction industry since over twenty percent of recipients work in our industry. The construction industry needs to retain workers covered by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), TPS and DED programs to continue to build America. These workers build America every day, and, at the same time, build the U.S. economy.

Can we count on you to publicly support allowing immigrants who have lived in the United States since childhood, known as Dreamers, as well as individuals covered by the Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure programs, to remain here?

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* 28. Guest worker visa programs allow employers to hire guest workers to fill temporary "seasonal" jobs. Construction and landscaping work, often performed by LIUNA members, are two of the top industries for H-2B visas. Many contractors that use H-2B visas falsely contend that they are unable to fill vacancies because workers already in the U.S. are unwilling to do those jobs. This is simply not true. Employers often turn to the program to exploit a captive workforce and avoid paying U.S. workers fair wages. Many employers using H-2B visas have repeatedly violated program rules and yet continue to get these visas. Additionally, the H-2A agricultural visa program is being misused to hire construction and landscape workers from other nations to come to the U.S. even though that program is not supposed to be used for construction workers.

Can we count on you to publicly oppose the misuse of guest worker visa programs, such as H2-B visas, in the construction industry?

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* 29. LIUNA's strength comes from our diverse and multiracial membership. For over 100 years, our brothers and sisters have fought for systemic transformation and racial equality. We continue to stand in solidarity with the movement to advance workers’ rights and civil rights, as they are one in the same. LIUNA believes the Legislature must build on its work to address the crucial need for equity and criminal justice reform. In the Twin Cities metropolitan area alone, LIUNA membership includes more than 1,000 people of color and 600 women who are skilled and trained journey and apprentice laborers. Every Legislative Session is an opportunity for legislators to lead and make progress on stamping out institutional racism.

Can we count on you to take action to build on the progress on equity and criminal justice reform?

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