Ben Long’s first union job was at arguably the most important public building in Minnesota—our State Capitol.
“I like being a Laborer because we’re very involved with our families, communities, and our job sites,” Long said. “We’re about safety and moving forward as a community.”
Several years ago, Long relocated from Iowa to Minnesota and shortly after became a Laborer with Local 563. He hit the ground running by working scaffolding and shoring on the Capitol, a job site that he returns to annually with hundreds of other LIUNA members for Laborers Day on the Hill.
“Laborers Day on the Hill is a great event for getting to know your representatives and meeting other like-minded union members that will help support your community and different things we have going on,” Long said.
But Long’s union membership isn’t strictly business. Like many other members, a major reason he joined was for the benefits.
“I became a Laborer because I wanted to be more involved with my community and have a pension and a vacation fund and really just build the new structures in this state.”
New structures like U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings. Long worked on the downtown Minneapolis structure a year and a half, and says it’s been his favorite project so far. He and his now-wife even shared a very special inaugural moment at the site.
“Me and my wife were actually lucky enough to be the first people engaged there,” Long says.
As an active union member, Long is looking ahead to the midterm elections in November. He says that politicians who look out for Labor, oppose so called “Right-to-Work” laws, and protect prevailing wages will earn his vote.
“I support Tim Walz for governor because he supports union families,” Long said. “I’m voting for Tim Walz on November 6.”