There are two crucial battles being waged by working people in Minnesota right now. The first is the strike by MNA nurses. Early Labor Day morning nearly 5,000 MNA nurses hit the picket lines in an open ended strike against Allina Health Care. At stake is nurses' health insurance, patient safety, nurses safety and their union. Allina's intransigence at the bargaining table has made it clear that this strike is also about whether the nurses will have any voice at their workplaces. It is about power. Allina has the backing of big business - powerful friends like US Bank, which stands behind Allina financially.
The second battle is the effort by workers to win a $15/hour minimum wage in Minneapolis. Although we have been handed a setback by the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minneapolis City Council, supporters of $15 will not be backing down. We will be pushing forward to achieve an ordinance through the City Council for a $15/hour minimum wage this year.
Supporters of 15 face the same opponents as the MNA - the most powerful corporations in Minnesota. US Bank, for example, has been at the forefront of corporate efforts to stop a minimum wage increase.
The MNA has been one of the strongest backers of 15 right from the beginning. That's because the MNA understands that workers, whether they be janitors, aircraft cleaners, retail workers or nurses, must support each other. They know that an injury to one truly is an injury to all. It's for this reason that the Minnesota labor movement stands ready to support the MNA.
It is the same reason every supporter of 15 should be ready to stand on the strike line. We must be ready to donate food, money, attend rallies and talk to our friends and coworkers about the importance of an MNA victory in the coming days.
15 Now MN Organizer