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Duluth News Tribune, Wednesday, January 22, 2014 – Supreme Court considers mandatory union dues

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DAVID G. SAVAGE Tribune Washington Bureau    WASHINGTON — Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether teachers and other public employees can be required to pay dues to support a union even if some of them oppose it.    Since 1977, the high … Continue reading

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Worker claims harassment, sues city of Duluth | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Published October 30, 2013, 12:00 AM Worker claims harassment, sues city of Duluth A city of Duluth Public Works and Utilities Department employee is seeking more than $75,000 in damages for what he calls “repeated and severe harassment” by his … Continue reading

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Hypocrite? …you be the judge!

Hypocrite? ...you be the judge!

PROMINENT LABOR REP CHOSE NON-UNION CONTRACTOR – HOME CONSTRUCTION: KEN LOEFFLER-KEMP, WHO REPRESENTS AFSCME, SAID HE DIDN’T KNOW OF ANY LOCAL UNION CONTRACTORS WHO BUILD PRIVATE HOMES.
Duluth News Tribune (MN) – Saturday, July 21, 2007
Author: CHRIS HAMILTON NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

High-profile city of Duluth labor representative Ken Loeffler-Kemp has found himself under fire this summer for employing non-union labor to build his home in the Hawk Ridge development in Lester Park.

“My understanding was that there were no union contractors in the city doing private residential construction,” Loeffler-Kemp said Friday afternoon after a union rally outside City Hall. “I was wrong, and that I regret.”

Craig Olson, president of the Duluth Building and Trades Council, said he’s disappointed with Loeffler-Kemp’s decision but believes it was primarily because of a lack of information. However, Olson said some union members still are considering whether to organize pickets at the partially completed home at 2902 Bald Eagle Trail.

“There are some people unhappy with him, saying, Why talk the talk, but not walk the walk?’ ” Olson said.

Olson said council members met with Loeffler-Kemp after receiving an anonymous tip and decided they need to do a better job of educating labor leadership about their office and its ability to offer referrals to union contractors.

Steve Risacher, field representative for Duluth Carpenters Local 361, echoed Olson’s disappointment.

“It was not a good thing,” he said.

The city and Loeffler-Kemp’s union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 66, remain at odds over an unsettled contract. And while the rumor about Loeffler-Kemp’s decision has been floating around the community for months, the information was more formally passed along to the News Tribune by an anonymous source in City Hall.

Loeffler-Kemp said that he believes the story was leaked to undermine AFSCME’s credibility with the public.

“It didn’t come from me,” said Mayor Herb Bergson, whose leadership and re- election campaign has been the target of AFSMCE all week. “I live in the fishbowl, and I don’t want to join in on kicking someone about their personal lives.”

Bergson said despite the public animosity, he considers Loeffler-Kemp and his community- and environmental-activist wife, Rosie Loeffler-Kemp, to be friends and has socialized with them.

According the city assessor’s office, the Loeffler-Kemps’ property was valued at $81,400 on Jan. 2. While that number included the land value, the unfinished home was valued at only $33,500.

When completed, the two-story single-family home will have 3,456 square feet with three bedrooms and three baths, with a detached two-story garage, according to the city permitting office. Loeffler-Kemp said he did not know what it eventually would be worth.

For the general contractor, Loeffler-Kemp hired Northern Trends Building & Design Inc., which is a family-owned Duluth business. He said that he is using union electricians on the project and is doing much of the construction himself.

Olson said the Building and Trade Council also is picketing another prominent Duluthian, mayoral candidate Charlie Bell, who is building a condominium project near the Munger Trail in West Duluth without union general contractors.

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AFSCME asks federal court to allow Minnesota child-care union vote | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Published October 03, 2013, 09:15 AM AFSCME asks federal court to allow Minnesota child-care union vote The union trying to organize some Minnesota child care providers has asked a federal court to reconsider its delay of the attempt. By: Don Davis, … Continue reading

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Reader’s view: County employees’ benefits should match private sector | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Published September 13, 2013, 12:00 AM County employees ratify new contract offer Employees for St. Louis County who are members of two American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union locals voted in favor of a new contract offer … Continue reading

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AFSCME contract vote coming on St. Louis County contract offer | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Published August 28, 2013, 12:00 AM AFSCME contract vote coming on St. Louis County contract offer Officials of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 66 will take the St. Louis County’s latest contract offer to members, … Continue reading

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Strike talk louder as St. Louis County, AFSCME at odds | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Published August 19, 2013, 04:03 PM Strike talk louder as St. Louis County, AFSCME at odds The sticking point is a two-tiered sick-leave bank for current and new employees. By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune Union workers for St. Louis County … Continue reading

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In St. Louis County contract talks, sick leave is sticking point, AFSCME says | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Published August 18, 2013, 12:00 AM In St. Louis County contract talks, sick leave is sticking point, AFSCME says Negotiations between St. Louis County and the unions that represent nearly two-thirds of the county’s employees have broken off and a … Continue reading

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St. Louis County contract talks with AFSCME go late Friday | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Published August 17, 2013, 12:00 AM St. Louis County contract talks with AFSCME go late Friday Negotiations that began at 10 a.m. Friday between representatives for St. Louis County and employee labor unions were still going on when this edition … Continue reading