Author

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.

A landlord let squatters take over. Tenants are paying the price.

By: - August 29, 2022

BEMIDJI — The apartment building where Rachael Greene has lived for 14 years has nearly been taken over by squatters. Every day, she leaves her apartment not knowing what to expect. The hallways are filled with graffiti. The windows are smashed out. Shirtless young men, high on meth or opioids, wander in and out of […]

Renters and developers press St. Paul council for opposing changes to rent control policy

By: - August 24, 2022

Renters, activists and developers rehashed the heated debate over St. Paul’s rent control ordinance during more than two hours of public testimony in a packed City Council meeting on Wednesday. On one side are developers, landlords and union construction workers who called on city leaders to exempt new construction, saying the ordinance that took effect […]

Starbucks workers vote to unionize Edina store, 5th in Minnesota

By: - August 18, 2022

Starbucks workers at an Edina store voted 9-0 to unionize, becoming the fifth store in Minnesota to do so. The election at the Edina store — at 5122 Edina Industrial Blvd. — is the latest success in a wave of unionization drives across the country, with workers at more than 220 Starbucks stores voting to […]

Nurses vote to authorize strike at 15 hospitals in Twin Cities, Duluth

By: - August 16, 2022

Union nurses at 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Duluth area voted to authorize a strike on Monday, escalating pressure on hospital executives as the two sides remain far apart on staffing levels and wages. The strike authorization, which required a two-thirds vote, allows the Minnesota Nurses Association to call some 15,000 nurses away […]

Minnesota’s top public defender faces no confidence vote from rank and file

By: - August 15, 2022

Minnesota’s State Public Defender Bill Ward faces a vote of no confidence from union public defenders, who say he has failed to advocate for the office and allowed morale to reach its lowest point in decades. Minnesota’s roughly 470 public defenders and 200 support staff began receiving ballots in the mail on Monday from Teamsters […]

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging Minnesota State Fair gun ban

By: - August 13, 2022

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by gun rights activists challenging the Minnesota State Fair’s ban on guns, ruling the ban does not violate the activists’ Second Amendment rights. The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and pair of gun rights activists — the Rev. Tim Christopher and Sarah Cade Hauptman — filed a […]

Minneapolis Trader Joe’s becomes country’s 2nd unionized store

By: - August 12, 2022

Workers at the Trader Joe’s in downtown Minneapolis voted 55-5 to unionize, becoming the second store in the country to do so. “We are so absolutely excited,” said Sarah Beth Ryther, a union organizer and crew member at the store. “We’re also really excited to get the hard work started of bargaining and making our […]

Utilities may not charge Minnesotans for entire cost of 2021 winter storm, regulators say

By: - August 11, 2022

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission decided Thursday that three of the state’s largest gas utilities may not charge customers for the entire cost of gas during the 2021 winter storm that sent prices surging and froze critical gas infrastructure in Texas and Oklahoma. The commission determined that the utilities could have done more to protect […]

Union nurses announce strike vote as negotiations with 15 hospitals stall

By: - August 11, 2022

Unionized nurses at 15 hospitals across the Twin Cities and the Duluth area will vote on Monday on whether to authorize a strike, as negotiations remain stalled over staffing levels and wages.  A vote to strike wouldn’t lead to nurses immediately walking off the job but would allow the Minnesota Nurses Association to call some […]

Minneapolis Trader Joe’s workers aim to unionize second store in U.S.

By: - August 5, 2022

Workers at the Trader Joe’s in downtown Minneapolis will vote next week in the grocery chain’s second union election in the country. The election comes just two weeks after workers in Hadley, Mass., were the first to unionize Trader Joe’s, as organizing drives continue to spread at national chains including Starbucks, Apple and Amazon. Sarah […]

Amid construction slowdown, St. Paul considers sweeping changes to rent control

By: - August 3, 2022

The St. Paul City Council took up a sweeping set of rent control changes on Wednesday in its first attempt to address the numerous issues that have arisen since residents passed the ordinance through a citizen-led petition in November. The ordinance is one of the most stringent in the country, capping rent increases at 3% […]

Minnesota nurses announce vote of no confidence in executives of seven hospitals

By: - August 2, 2022

Unionized nurses at seven Minnesota hospitals say they’ve taken a vote of no confidence in hospital management, ratcheting up the pressure on negotiations over pay, benefits and working conditions. “As a result of the corporate health care policies pursued by hospital executives … hospitals are understaffed, nurses are overworked, and patients are overcharged,” said Chelsea […]