The Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council announced that President Harry Melander is retiring, and the Council Executive Board has elected Joe Fowler, Business Manager of LiUNA Local 563 as President.
“Harry has dedicated his career to the labor movement and to the union construction professionals of Minnesota,” said Craig Olson, Secretary Treasurer of the Building Trades. “His passion has been growing the union construction workforce, supporting diversity and inclusion in our industry, and tirelessly advocating for affordable housing and increased private and public investment in construction and infrastructure.”
On May 24, 2021, the Building Trades Executive board held a meeting where they accepted Mr. Melander’s retirement effective June 4, 2021. At the same meeting, the Building Trades Executive Board unanimously elected Joe Fowler, Business Manager for LiUNA Laborers Local 563 President of the Building and Construction Trades Council.
“I am honored and incredibly humbled to have received the level of support that I did to be elected President of the Minnesota State Building Trades Council,” said Joe Fowler. “As President of the State Building Trades I’m looking forward to supporting the good work that the Trade unions do advocating for the both the necessary investments into Minnesota’s infrastructure as well as investments into the working-class citizens of the state who help to keep the economy moving. With the combined efforts of the affiliated trades, it is my hope that this organization will continue to be able to expand work opportunities for our members that: support a middle class living; provide quality family healthcare and include pensions that allow union members to retire with dignity; and protect the health and safety of construction workers throughout all of Minnesota.”
Mr. Fowler has served as the Business Manager for LiUNA Laborers Local 563 since 2017. Prior to that, he served as a Business Agent for Local 563 beginning in 2013. Mr. Fowler is a second generation Local 563 laborer and started his union construction career in 1999.