Duluth Mayor Don Ness seems shocked and surprised that local labor leaders have banned him for life from the Duluth Labor Temple’s Paul Wellstone Hall.
Labor leaders took the action against the mayor, a DFLer, because they say he crossed an informational picket line at the Radisson Hotel.
The Duluth News Tribune, says Ness has reached out on social media to defend himself.
According to the mayor, he was headed for lunch at the Radisson’s restaurant when he encountered the picketers in front of the hotel. He says he chatted with the union members, who were upset that the hotel had hired non-union remodelers.
And he said he didn’t know that union leaders were so upset that they’d banned him from the union hall until he read about it 10 days later.
In a Facebook post Ness said: “Let me stress this point — the union restaurant that I went to was staffed by union employees who all crossed the very same informational picket line. The picket is not directed at the restaurant and their management.”
A labor representative says the mayor made a poor decision.
But the mayor told the paper that he “meant no disrespect and suggested the whole misunderstanding could have been sorted out in a conversation.”