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Guest Commentary
2019 is an opportunity to take action, organize and build power

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, March 22, 2019

By Mike Bubalo,
financial secretary-treasurer, Laborers Local 563

Six months ago, Minnesota’s working people faced the prospect of an anti-worker Governor and anti-worker Legislature turning Minnesota into Wisconsin — where attacks on working people have cost jobs and held down wages. We organized and won the 2018 elections.

Now, 2019 is an opportunity to take action, organize and build power for our members, apprentices and retirees, and all working people. Together, we can advance our shared values of dignity, justice and freedom by making our voices heard and holding politicians accountable for getting the job done.

One place to start is by supporting Governor Tim Walz’s and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan’s budget and bonding proposals.

Their proposed budget reflects our shared priorities: bringing down the cost of healthcare, improving education and ensuring communities across the state are prospering.

The Walz and Flanagan budget and bonding proposals will fix our roads and bridges and invest in water and housing infrastructure, creating jobs for Minnesotans and growing our economy.

Laborers are making their voices heard by taking action: Hundreds of us have contacted our state legislators asking them to fix our roads and bridges to ease congestion and improve safety. Dozens of us have testified at House Transportation Committee hearings in Saint Cloud, Minneapolis, Blaine, Savage and Mankato.

And, on Wednesday, April 3, we will join together with our brothers and sisters in the building trades and lobby our elected officials at our Day on the Hill.

‘Get involved! Whether it is going to your union meetings, participating in a training, lobbying your elected officials at your Day on the Hill, or volunteering on the phones, doors or in your community — you have the power to make a difference in working people’s lives.

Mike Bubalo

Together, we can continue to organize, build power and make a difference in working people’s lives.

That’s why at Laborers Local 563, we are continuing our “Proud Member” training program, where members can learn more about our local’s history and feel the power of belonging to a union by building skills and taking action.

It took me 13 years to get active in my union. I joined the Laborers in 1986 as a mason tender. In 1999, I got active, wanting to be more involved and know what the union is about.

I joined the Local 563 executive board in 2005 and was hired on as an agent in 2009. Today, I serve as an officer of my local as well as an executive board member for the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

I am proud to make a difference in the lives of our members, apprentices, retirees and workers across the region.

Get involved! Whether it is going to your union meetings, participating in a training, writing a letter to the editor, liking and following your union on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, lobbying your elected officials at your Day on the Hill, or volunteering on the phones, doors or in your community — you have the power to make a difference in working people’s lives.

Feel the power! Use the power! BE THE POWER!

Mike Bubalo is financial secretary-treasurer of Laborers Local 563 and also serves as an executive board member of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

 



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