One Strong, United Voice for Workers

Working people’s voice grew stronger last year in Minnesota, where organizing gains pushed union membership to its highest point since 2004. Minnesota gained 46,000 union members from 2016 to 2017, the largest year-to-year gain since 2000. The state’s union population, 411,000, was at its highest since 2004. Union members grew as a share of Minnesota’s total workforce as well. Union density increased from 14.2 percent to 15.2 percent in 2017, its highest point since 2010. The report shows Minnesota unions are reversing a trend of decline that began over a decade ago. AFSCME Council 5, which represents over 40,000 public-service workers statewide, converted thousands of “fee payers” into full-fledged members last year, on top of organizing new units at seven different employers, bringing 225 new members into the fold.

Established in April 1950, AFSCME Local 34 represents over 2000 Social Service employees of Hennepin County

Newsletter  (August, 2017)

President's Blog  (January, 2018) (updated)



2018 Solidarity Forever Labor History Calendar

Our 2018 calendar celebrates the legacy of workers’ struggles against fascism and bigotry, from the 19th century labor activists who demanded an immediate end to chattel slavery and discrimination against women to the industrial unions that toppled apartheid in South Africa. 14 photos, and more than a thousand notes. Published annually since 1985.

This 11-by-17 wall calendar is printed by union labor. $12.95, postpaid. Order at

We welcome suggestions of important dates in labor history around the world, and especially information about photos that should be considered for inclusion.




AFSCME Issues Merits Brief in Janus v. AFSCME

AFSCME submitted today (1/12/2018), its brief on the merits of the corporate-backed Supreme Court Case, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.

Washington, DC — 

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) submitted today its brief on the merits of the corporate-backed Supreme Court Case, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.

Enclosed you will find the merits brief that AFSCME submitted to the Supreme Court today, along with a summary of this brief. If facts, law, and precedent matter, all nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in favor of working people in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 – just as they did more than 40 years ago when they found the state and local governments’ system of ordering their labor relations to be constitutional.

Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 is nothing more than a politically-motivated assault on the freedom of working people to earn a better life and an attempt to further rig the rules in favor of billionaires and corporate interests. In these turbulent times, marked by division and attacks on fact and reason, we hope the Supreme Court will consider carefully the facts, precedent, decades of labor peace and stability, and the motivations behind those seeking to undo it.

Now more than ever in the modern era, Americans must be able to trust their governmental institutions. Just as millions of Americans who rely on public service workers to keep their water clean, care for their families in hospitals, and respond to their emergencies quickly and professionally, millions of public service workers now rely on nine Supreme Court justices to decide this case on its merits -- not on the ideological animus of the billionaires and corporate interests who are funding this blatant effort to silence the voices of workers.  

Read the brief



Minnesota Election 2018

 Who’s running?

If you want to be powerful, educate yourself!

No matter what happens, 2018 will be a banner year in Minnesota politics. An open seat in the Minnesota governor’s office has already attracted more than a dozen candidates in both parties, which has in turn created a vacuum that’s left other state offices with open — and suddenly competitive — races. And the unexpected resignation U.S. Sen. Al Franken has put both of Minnesota's U.S. Senate seats on the ballot next fall. Those races anchor a ticket that also includes up to five competitive congressional races, all state constitutional officers and the entire Minnesota House. 

Bookmark this page — we'll be updating it throughout the year as candidates enter and leave all the races. ~MinnPost



Closed group: Email Amanda Abell for an invite



     AFSCME Local 34      Updated 1/22/18


Moment of Silence


As part of I AM 2018, we ask you to join us on February 1, 2018, for a national Moment of Silence to remember Echol Cole and Robert Walker, the sanitation men crushed to death, February 1, 1968, 4:20 pm, in the compactor of a malfunctioning, obsolete truck, in which they had sought shelter from a downpour. Their deaths sparked the walkout of 1300 fellow sanitation workers. There is so much to be done, so much business unfinished from 1968. America needs to re-engage with workers’ aspirations: for dignity on the job, for quality public services, for prosperity to be shared among all of us, for human rights for everyone.  


Union News

New Local 34 Executive Board member

 We have a new Member-at-Large effective 2/1/18. Sametta Hill was elected by the Executive Board on 1/17/18 to fill the vacancy created when Kim Jorgensen resigned. Sametta’s term will run 2/1/18 – 4/30/19. Please join us in congratulating her and also thanking the other members who put their names forward for this position.

The Rice Park Ice Palace is a Massive Union Made Project: The 2018 St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palace has added significance as the Twin Cities prepares to host Super Bowl 52. Tim McCarthy Business Manager at St. Paul Plumbers and Gasfitters Local 34 explained that mostly volunteer union tradespeople had been diligently erecting the six tower ice block structure at Rice Park in Downtown St Paul. According to Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1, Executive Vice President Terry Wong, “the tallest tower will be 68 feet in height.” Read more at Workday Minnesota.

The East Side Freedom Library invites you to Sports, Social Justice, Labor and Race: The Window Opened by the Super Bowl on Wednesday, January 24 @ 6:30PM: Join the inter-generational and multi-racial organizers of the upcoming "Take a Knee Nation" conference, which will highlight "Race, Police Violence, and the Right to Protest." The conference will be held in Minneapolis on Saturday and Sunday, February 3 and 4, Super Bowl weekend. Join the East Side Freedom Library for a preliminary peek at their plans -- speakers, issues, activities, and protests - and learn how we can all get involved. For more information, contact: Phone: 651-230-3294.

Winter Carnival Fun: Union members and our families can march in the King Boreas Grand Day Parade as part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. Marchers should wear their local union jackets and carry their local banners. Gather at the New Labor Center, 353 West Seventh St., at 1 p.m. in the Main Labor Hall on Saturday, January 27. The parade starts at 2 p.m. The unit is co-sponsored by the Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation’s AFL-CIO Community Services program and Greater Twin Cities United Way. After the parade, join the warm-up party at the Labor Hall. To participate, call Vicki Beebe at (651) 222-3787 ext. 120 or email Vicki.

Donald Trump: A Year of Making Workplaces More Dangerous: It has been a year since Donald Trump took office. Despite promising to be a friend of workers, Trump has spent much of his first year making our workplaces less safe. AFL-CIO Director of Safety and Health Peg Seminario described Trump's actions: The Trump administration has teamed up with Republican leaders in Congress and corporate allies to launch a war on regulatory protections, putting workers and the public in danger. Workers’ safety and health, wages and financial security are threatened. These regulatory protections don’t kill jobs. But there is no doubt that rolling back these protections will hurt workers. Read more.

Appeals court sides with home care workers’ union – again: Minnesota PCAs who worked Monday – on MLK Day – received holiday pay for the first time, thanks to a new provision in their union contract with the state. A day later, home care workers received more good news. The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled against a group seeking to roll back holiday pay and other gains workers and their clients have made through collective bargaining by decertifying their union. Read more from the Union Advocate.

Taste of Justice: February 3, 2018, 5:00 pm. While Franklin Street Bakery owners Wayne Kostroski & Mark Haugen are at the Superbowl with the rich & famous to raise money to “Kick Hunger” with their “Taste of the NFL” charity; many of their own workers are paid so little that they have to use food shelves themselves. Let’s show Franklin Street Bakery, Wayne Kostroski, & Mark Haugen that it’s time to “Kick Hunger” at home. Please Join Franklin Street Bakery Workers & Supporters for a Taste Of Justice. Show the workers that you support their effort to organize their Union and help them Raise Money for local food shelves. RSVP on Facebook.

Participation in special elections, caucuses is crucial: Control of the Minnesota Senate hangs in the balance with an upcoming special election – and another election being blocked by a state leader who is violating our Constitution. State Senate president Michelle Fischbach immediately became lieutenant governor when Tina Smith took Al Franken’s seat. Now she’s trying to stay in the Minnesota Senate, too, to help her Republican Party maintain its narrow anti-worker majority. But our state Constitution prohibits her from simultaneously holding both jobs: “No senator or representative shall hold any other office under the authority of the United States or the state of Minnesota, except that of postmaster or of notary public.” Constituent Destiny Dusosky of Sauk Rapids has filed suit in Ramsey County, pointing out she’s being deprived of representation. The lawsuit asks a judge to declare Fischbach’s dual offices unconstitutional and to make her give up the Senate seat. That would lead to a special election, which could swing the Senate pro-worker. A different special election that would help tip the balance toward workers is Feb. 12. AFSCME members have endorsed former state rep. Karla Bigham, a Washington County commissioner, for Senate District 54, the seat previously held by Dan Schoen. The district includes parts of southern Washington County and northeastern Dakota County. If voters elect Bigham, the Senate moves one vote closer to a pro-worker majority, from 34-32 to 34-33. Fischbach following the law and vacating her Senate seat would tie the vote, and it could tip it toward workers and their families depending on who replaces her. In the House, another key special election Feb. 12 could elect AFSCME-endorsed Melissa Wagner to District 23B, replacing Tony Cornish. Special elections and the Fischbach lawsuit aren’t the only things that will determine whether our lawmakers are pro-worker or not. Precinct caucuses at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6 will help decide our future in 2018 and beyond. Find your caucus site here.

Local 34 Officer nominations: Jody Stadler, Nominations Chair, will take nominations for the following offices at the February 7, 2018 & March 7, 2018 General Assembly meetings held in HSB 110: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Sergeant-at-Arms, Chief Steward, Member-at-Large (3 seats), Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation delegates (5 seats) & alternates (6 seats) and St Paul Regional Labor Federation delegates (5 seats) & alternates (6 seats). Any member in good standing for one full year as of 2/1/18 is eligible to put their name forward for nomination for any of the offices. If you would like information on the duties & responsibilities of an office send an email to Jean Diederich at If you wish to put name forward for an office please send your name and contact information to Jody Stadler at

Day on the Hill: AFSCME Council 5 Day on the Hill will be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in St Paul. The membership voted to approve sending up to 100 members covering one day lost time, mileage and parking. We will gather names at the February 7, 2018 General Assembly and, if more than 100 members have expressed their interest, hold an election at the meeting. This is open to any Local 34 member. If you are interested in attending please send an email to Jean at You should submit your request for SLWOP (special leave without pay) to your supervisor now so that it is approved and gives time for providing coverage for work.



John Herzog - WEB Developer

AFSCME Local 34, P.O. Box 15222, Commerce Station, Mpls., Mn. 55415 was first created on 4/29/2001. 

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