Reporting Esme Murphy
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and labor groups say they have agreements with the Vikings that they hope will increase city support for a new stadium on the current Metrodome site.
The agreements call for union labor to be used on any stadium, with unions committing to no work stoppages.
The Mayor used the Vikings own figures to say building a stadium would create 13,000 jobs in Minneapolis, including 7,500 construction jobs.
The Vikings separately have signed a letter of intent to OK unionized concession workers at the new stadium.
Still under discussion is a workforce agreement that would set goals for hiring women and minority workers and subcontractors. The agreement would also aim to hire Minneapolis residents from zip codes with high rates of poverty.
Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley said legislative leaders have made it clear to the team that in order for them to support a Vikings stadium in Minneapolis, the stadium has to have support from the Minneapolis City Council.
And despite the rally-like atmosphere at Monday’s news conference, it’s clear that at this time the votes in the council aren’t there.
Joined by representatives of local unions, the Urban League, the Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Chamber of Commerce, Rybak said building a stadium in downtown Minneapolis would put the construction workers behind him back to work.
And while the workers may represent a cross section of the city, the majority of the Minneapolis City Council is opposed to the project, although Mayor Rybak insists he is closer than he was.
For the workers there, like Mike Harper, any kind of steady job is one they would gladly take.
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