The AFL-CIO, a coalition of more than 1,000 labor unions, has come out in favor of building a casino in downtown Minneapolis. The labor federation, which is also backing a Vikings stadium, sent out a news release earlier today saying the so-called Block E casino will benefit the state. The casino has been mentioned as a way to finance the Vikings stadium. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has suggested tapping money from the casino to pay for a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis.
Union support could help convince skeptical Democrats to vote for the expansion of gambling. Several have said they will oppose any expansion of gambling in Minnesota.
Here’s the AFL-CIO’s statement:
“We need to do everything we can to get more Minnesotans back to work and our economy moving again,” said Shar Knutson, President of the Minnesota AFL-CIO. “The renovation and operation of a casino at Block E will create a significant number of family-sustaining jobs many Minnesotans so desperately need.”
The Minnesota AFL-CIO currently supports constructing a new stadium to ensure the Vikings stay in Minnesota. The labor federation has not endorsed any specific site.
“Given the number of funding options being debated, the Block E casino option is a way to both fund the project and create jobs,” added Knutson. “Working people are watching and waiting for legislators to take action on this great way to create jobs.”