Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Previously, 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.

Minnesota lawmakers consider new set of safety rules for meatpacking plants

By: - February 14, 2023

Meatpacking workers told state lawmakers Tuesday about broken ankles, gruesome lacerations, pinched nerves and other injuries they and their coworkers have suffered on the job in Minnesota’s meat processing plants. The workers urged lawmakers in House and Senate labor committee hearings to support a bill (HF23/SF207) that includes new safety regulations for large meat and […]

House Democrats introduce ban on new gas lawn mowers in 2025

By: - February 14, 2023

A bill introduced in the Minnesota House would ban the sale of new gas-powered lawn mowers and other garden equipment like leaf blowers and weed whippers starting in 2025. The bill (HF1715) is authored by Rep. Jerry Newton, DFL-Coon Rapids, and Rep. Heather Edelson, DFL-Edina, and requires all new garden equipment to be solely powered […]

Legislators, nurses’ union announce renewed push to address hospital staffing shortage

By: - February 13, 2023

The Minnesota nurses’ union and their supporters at the state Capitol are taking aim at a shortage of hospital nurses across the state through legislation that would give rank-and-file nurses greater say over staffing levels. The bill — dubbed “The Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act” (SF1561) — would require hospitals to form staffing committees […]

Democrats make progress on free school meals, carbon-free energy and numerous other bills

By: - February 10, 2023

The Democratic-led House and Senate continued pushing forward major legislation on housing, abortion, education and health care. Here are some highlights from the Legislature’s work this week: Gov. Tim Walz signed the bill (HF7/SF4) requiring utilities to produce 100% of electricity through carbon-free sources by 2040 (with some fine print) and show that at least […]

Minnesota Democrats renew push to provide rental assistance to all low-income residents

By: - February 7, 2023

Minnesota could become the first state in the country to guarantee rental assistance to all low-income residents under a proposal backed by 40 Democratic state lawmakers.  Housing advocates and Democratic lawmakers have introduced the bill (HF11) every year for the past three years, but the proposal stalled with a Republican-controlled Senate. The bill now has […]

FirstService drops noncompete agreement for workers as Legislature considers ban

By: - February 7, 2023

FirstService Residential, the largest property management company in North America, told its employees in Minnesota on Monday it would not enforce the noncompete agreements in its contracts with caretakers, desk attendants and other hourly workers. The announcement came days after a caretaker at a Minneapolis condo building managed by FirstService went public with his story […]

FirstService caretaker says he and wife were fired for union activity, wage theft lawsuit

By: - February 2, 2023

Kevin Borowske and his wife were fired recently by FirstService Residential after a history of organizing workers for fair pay and a union. He led a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Minnesota caretakers at FirstService — the largest property management company in North America —for wage theft and won a $225,000 settlement (before attorney fees) […]

Gov. Walz signs bill codifying abortion rights in Minnesota law

By: - January 31, 2023

With Gov. Tim Walz’s signature on Tuesday, state Democrats codified the right to abortion and reproductive health care for all residents in Minnesota law. Full stop. No exceptions. “The message that we’re sending Minnesota today is very clear. Your rights are protected in the state. You have the right to make your own decisions about […]

Trade union confronts high rates of suicide and addiction in construction with free treatment

By: - January 24, 2023

Construction and mining workers are more likely to die by suicide or of an opioid overdose than workers in any other profession, yet mental health treatment in those male-dominated industries is scarce and often stigmatized. A Minnesota trade union is confronting the problem with a trailblazing program that provides free mental health and chemical dependency […]

DFL Legislature moving quickly on a range of issues three weeks into session

By: - January 20, 2023

The DFL-controlled House passed a bill Thursday codifying the right to an abortion into law. It now moves to the Senate. That’s just one policy area where the DFL is moving fast. Some other big bills that moved forward this week: Bill requiring the state’s utilities to generate 100% of electricity from carbon-free sources by […]

McDonald’s franchisee agrees to consent decree after sexual abuse of 14-year-old worker

By: - January 18, 2023

A company operating 14 McDonald’s restaurants in Minnesota will adopt new sexual harassment policies and procedures under a settlement agreement filed by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in state court on Wednesday. The consent decree is the result of a lawsuit filed by the mother of a 14-year-old worker who was sexually assaulted and […]

Minneapolis city council to consider new labor protections for Uber and Lyft drivers

By: - January 12, 2023

Three Minneapolis City Council members announced on Thursday they plan to propose new labor protections for Uber and Lyft drivers, who have long complained of low wages, unsafe working conditions and a lack of legal protections for independent contractors. Uber and Lyft drivers say the tech giants continue to claim the lion’s share of every […]