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Labor, megamall lobbyists join forces in seeking public subsidy; the reason: jobs

The construction trades are pushing hard for legislative approval of a controversial tax bill that would put public money — $204 million — into a parking ramp that would accompany the proposed privately funded $2 billion expansion of the Mall of America.

There’s one simple reason labor has lined up with MOA lobbyists: jobs. According to labor leaders, the expansion of the mall would require 7,000 union construction-related workers.

These comparisions offer some context on why the measure is a labor priority: There currently are 470 to 600 union workers building the I-35W bridge. Construction of the new University of Minnesota football stadium currently employs 230 union workers, with that number rising to 400 as work progresses.
Here’s another context number: With the economic slowdown, the unemployment level in the construction trades has reached a dismal 16 percent, according to the Building Trades Council.

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