Workers Win in Minnesota

This article was originally published in the June 2023 Election Connection newsletter.

In our November 2022 newsletter, we celebrated after labor-backed candidates in Minnesota won a slim state senate majority (34-33). This secured the state’s first pro-worker trifecta in nearly a decade with a union-friendly governor, state house and state senate.

In May, these allies joined Governor Tim Walz to enact the Jobs, Economic Development, Labor, and Industry Finance Bill (HF3028/SF3035), which has been hailed as the “most significant worker protection bill in state history.”

Taking effect July 1, 2023, the law will:

  • Ban “non-compete” agreements, which often keep workers from switching jobs because they fear being sued by their former employer (only Oregon and Connecticut currently have this protection);
  • Ban “captive audience meetings,” which are the primary opportunity for anti-union employers to bully, intimidate, and manipulate workers who are seeking union representation or more fair treatment on the job;
  • Establish the first-in-the-nation state-level ergonomics requirement to address repetitive strain injuries that are common in warehouses, meatpacking plants, health care facilities, and elsewhere;
  • Force large meatpacking plants to develop plans to prevent workplace injuries;
  • Provide greater protections for workers who have been victims of wage theft and misclassification;
  • Guarantee all workers paid sick and safe days (days that can be used to care for a sick family member, go to a doctor’s appointment, etc.);
  • Empower teachers to negotiate over class sizes;
  • Establish industry-wide pay and benefits for nursing home workers; and,
  • Require companies that operate warehouse distribution to be more transparent about work quotas, productivity, safety and health, wages, and more.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-6961

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222