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Biz Buzz: Union membership declining in Minnesota, report says

In 2012, union members accounted for 14.2 percent of wage and salary workers in the state compared to 15.1 percent in 2011, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report this week.

Union membership peaked in the state in 1992 at 22 percent. Union members accounted for 11.3 percent of employed and salary workers nationally in 2012, down from 11.8 percent in 2011.

“Minnesota had 351,000 wage and salary workers who were union members in 2012,” the study reported. “Another 17,000 wage and salary workers were represented by a union on their main job or were covered by an employee association or contract while not being union members themselves.

“Nationwide, 14.4 million wage and salary workers were union members in 2012 and 1.6 million workers were not affiliated with a union but had jobs covered by a union contract.”

Hasse’s restaurant on Highway 210 near the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport is open, again, and with its old name.

Glynlyon, the technology company in Nisswa with an online curriculum for kindergarden through 12th grade students at home and in traditional classrooms, reports it is growing and continuing to look for employees. Glynlyon is hosting a career fair from 3-7 p.m. March 20 and March 21 at Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes in Baxter with another fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 23.

Minnesota beer distributors generate 2,256 direct jobs, $1 billion in total economic impacts, a new economic impact study released by the National Beer Wholesalers Association. The study online at — — provides the first-ever comprehensive report on beer distribution companies’ total impact on national and state economies.

The “Big Brother” CBS TV show, described as “Survivor” in a house, is hosting an open casting call from 1-4 p.m. March 30 at the Mall of America for anyone interested in giving it a shot. The television show hosts casting calls in 15 cities a year. Those who can’t make the casting in person are able to make a video and apply online.

The Dispatch is running an online poll regarding the question of food truck operations in Brainerd and Baxter. To drop in your two cents, go to and vote.

Prairie Bay restaurant, which prompted the food truck debate, announced on its Facebook page that public sales were approved in Nisswa and a couple of dates in April will be announced soon.

There are a couple of other polls seeking to get a handle on thoughts regarding working from home in the light of Yahoo! and Best Buy moves to decrease that option and bring more employees back to the traditional working hours at the office. In today’s wired and high tech world, should employees be allowed to work from home? Does it lead to a more flexible schedule and greater productivity or is too much important group interaction lost? Perhaps there is a happy medium, Vote at or send me a note or tweet me your thoughts.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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