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The Minnesota Nurses Association’s Shannon Cunningham (right) picks up a doorknocking route at a Labor 2022 “Day of Action” Saturday, October 15 in Coon Rapids. The event drew folks from the Nurses, AFSCME, Building Trades, Education Minnesota, and other unions. To volunteer for a Labor 2022 doorknock or phone bank, e-mail volunteer@minneapolisunions.org.

‘Labor rights are on the ballot’ November 8
Walz, Ellison, Simon, Blaha
lead Labor 2022 ticket

Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 22, 2022

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

COON RAPIDS — Speaking to a room full of Labor 2022 campaign volunteers from local unions on a recent Saturday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison cut to the chase: “Labor rights are on the ballot” November 8, he said.

DFLer Ellison, endorsed by the Minnesota AFL-CIO for re-election, pointed to the example of Wisconsin, where the election of a Republican governor in 2010 and Republican-controlled legislature led to the end of collective bargaining rights for teachers, then other public employees, and then for private sector workers in 2015 with the passage of so-called “Right to Work” legislation.

“We always should fight and stand together,” Ellison urged. “Somebody might try to peel you off,” he warned. But, he said, “there is no success without a solid wall of solidarity.”

The volunteers were assembled at the offices of Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota for a day of doorknocking to reach out to union members about the 2022 election. “It’s so necessary to get involved this year and turn things our way,” said Val Holthus, AHEM president, in welcoming the volunteers.

“Unless you are in that one percent you are a worker,” reminded Mary Turner, ICU nurse at North Memorial Hospital and president of the Minnesota Nurses Association. Introducing Ellison, she said, “he’s fighting for us, the workers.”

“He has stood with the nurses from the beginning,” she said, from his time serving in the Minnesota House, to his time serving in Congress, and now in his role as Attorney General. “This man knows what it’s like to fight for the 99.9 percent of us,” Turner said.

“My opponent is in fact a Wall Street hedge fund attorney,” Ellison told the crowd of union members. “[He] has devoted his entire career to enriching the richest people and corporations in the world.”

If the contrasts in the Attorney General’s race couldn’t be starker, the same is true in the other statewide races: for Governor, for Secretary of State, and for State Auditor (see story).

The contest for control of the state legislature is equally high-stakes. In the House, there’s currently a labor-friendly DFL majority of only four seats. In the Senate, five seats would need to be picked up by labor-friendly candidates to win a majority to pass legislation for the benefit of the state’s working families. And, in many districts, a handful of votes will determine who wins.

To volunteer for a Labor 2022 doorknock or phone bank, e-mail volunteer@minneapolisunions.org.

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Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
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