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Surly beer hall employees vote to form union

Plus: POLITICO on Minnesota’s tight presidential race; new home permits decline in Minnesota; few triplexes built in Minneapolis despite zoning change; and more.

Surly Brewing Co.’s beer hall and pizzeria
Surly Brewing Co.’s beer hall and pizzeria
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

Furious owners. The Star Tribune’s Nicole Norfleet reports:Employees at Surly Brewing Co.’s beer hall and pizzeria have decided to unionize in a response to pay issues and safety concerns. … The popular Minneapolis brew hall has been busy in recent weeks, but organizers said many employees are working without health benefits and have seen their pay decrease even as the company has added a 15% service charge management said was meant to help workers. … On Monday afternoon, members of Surly’s hospitality and kitchen staff members told management of their intent to unionize as part of Unite Here Local 17, which represents more than 6,000 workers in hotels, restaurants and other hospitality establishments in Minnesota.”

Another entry in the growing will-Minnesota-go-for-Trump genre. In POLITICO, David Siders writes:Minnesota, which once looked like a vanity project for Donald Trump, is suddenly emerging as a critical test of his effort to turn his campaign around. … Interviews with more than a dozen officials and strategists from both parties in recent days depict a state in which Joe Biden is leading, but where the president is making inroads in rural Minnesota. … Public surveys and internal polling by Democrats and Republicans alike in recent weeks has suggested the race is narrowing, though with Biden still ahead. In a sign of its increasingly competitive nature, Biden today will begin airing his first television ads in the state, in the Twin Cities as well as Duluth and Rochester markets. And last week, Biden included Minnesota in a list of battleground states he said he wants to visit — travel that suggests the state is far from a lock.”

Homebuilding slowdown. The Star Tribune’s Jim Buchta reports: “Permits to build single-family houses and rental apartments declined double-digits during August, according to a monthly report from Housing First Minnesota, a trade group that represents metro builders. … During the month builders were issued 600 single-family permits, a 15% decline compared with last year. For multifamily units — mostly rental apartments — enough permits were issued to build 458 units, a 34% decline. … The declines come after an unusually strong summer for home sales, which have generally exceeded expectations this summer as other sectors of the economy languished.”

Freyplex-pocalypse … later? City Pages’ Hannah Jones writes: “It was around this time last year that the Minneapolis City Council finally enacted the 2040 plan, which, among many other things, effectively upzoned the entire city. … Whereas before, the vast majority of Minneapolis was reserved exclusively for single-family homes, now duplexes and triplexes could be built anywhere in the city starting at the beginning of 2020. … The decision came amid heated arguments about what this would do to local neighborhoods. One worry was that upzoning the city would cause hungry developers to raze blocks of single-family homes and replace them with swathes of luxurious triplexes. … We’re now more than halfway into 2020, and we have some concrete data pertaining to the threat of bulldozer attacks and a triplex-pocalypse. … So far, that number is … three.

In other news…

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More education needed:Grand Forks mayor says no to mask mandate; ‘This isn’t Nazi-Germany’” [Fargo Forum]

Sole proprietorship:Red Wing Shoes To Transform Stores Into Job Centers, Promote Job Openings On Labor Day” [WCCO]

Followup to yesterday’s Nisswa-mayor-arrested story with details:Nisswa, Minnesota mayor tells cop he’s ‘as bad as the fucking dinks in Minneapolis,’ gets arrested [VIDEO]” [City Pages]

Second-oldest family-owned brewery in the U.S.:New leadership on tap as Schell’s Brewery turns 160” [Mankato Free Press]

Head found in freezer:40-Year-Old Minnesota State Fair Butter Sculpture Preserved In Fmr. Princess Kay’s Freezer” [WCCO]