Author discusses the history of the Labor Movement and how it transformed the U.S.

President of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, Larry Willis spoke with America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on July 27 about the HEROES Act and how it could have been used to help frontline workers.

Transportation Trades Department Larry WillisIf the HEROES Act were passed, a payroll support program would have been established to keep workers off unemployment, Willis said.

He then discussed the need to better protect frontline transit workers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, transit drivers have not been given adequate personal protective equipment or worker protections. The HEROES Act would have provided hazard pay as compensation for working during a pandemic.

Lastly, Willis spoke about maritime workers and the difficulties they have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said it is difficult for the workers to get tested and quarantine while at sea because of the small amount of space on ships.

Promised LandAuthor David Stebenne spoke about his book and how the middle class transformed America. He said the Labor Movement added pressure to provide fair wages, protections and benefits to workers and explained how the labor movement was the start of the transformation of the middle class.

According to Stebenne, the American middle class began its ascent in the 1930s, with the progressive economic policies of the era, greater business and finance regulation and increased taxation—intended to bring an end to the Great Depression.

He also discussed how the middle class began shrinking in 1968, just as social movements and political change was occurring, highlighting disparities in American society. As decades of growth built wealth and power for white men and their families; women, racial minorities and other marginalized groups were left out.

AWF Radio Podcast host Ed “Flash” Ferenc spoke about the Iowa Federation of Labor President Charles J. Wishman, proud member of the American Federation of Teachers, inviting U.S. Senator Joni Ernst to a Zoom conference call with Iowa workers to explain why the HEROES Act is not being passed.

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America’s Work Force is the only daily labor-radio program in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America’s workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, BMA MEDIA GROUP, COLUMBUS-CENTRAL OHIO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, CUYAHOGA COUNTY VETERAN SERVICE COMMISSION, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, HEAT AND FROST INSULATORS AND ALLIED WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES DISTRICT COUNCIL 6, KELLEY & FERRARO, LLP,  LABOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE, LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, NORTH COAST AREA LABOR FEDERATION, MARITIME TRADES DEPARTMENT, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, UNITED STEELWORKERS.

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