Exxon workers locked out of refinery as USW continue to negotiate

Since May 1, about 650 Exxon workers have been locked out of a Beaumont, Texas refinery and packaging plant after contract negotiations between the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 13-243 and management stalled.

Fred Redmond, Secretary-Treasurer of AFL-CIO and International Vice President of the USW, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the lockout and the USW’s effort to reach an agreement. Continue reading

Apprenticeship programs expand to meet job market demand

Barry Davies, Business Manager and Financial Secretary/Treasurer of Ironworkers Local 512, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how the Ironworkers apprenticeship program has grown and evolved.

He also discussed the likelihood of the $1.3 trillion infrastructure bill eventually passing and if it passes, whether the Ironworkers will be able to meet the increased demand for skilled workers. Continue reading

Zantac users diagnosed with cancer may be entitled to compensation

Zantac was pulled from store shelves two years ago because its use was linked to various forms of cancer due to the medication containing a product used in the manufacturing of jet fuel.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has labeled N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) as a probable carcinogen. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found the heartburn medication’s use of NDMA could lead to cancer in humans, if taken in a high doses. Sanofi, the manufacturer of the brand-name version of Zantac, recalled its product in 2019. Since then, the company reformulated its recipe, as new versions of the drug sold on shelves today do not contain the cancer-causing chemical.

Brian Kelley, an Associate with Kelley & Ferraro, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the lawsuits filed against Sanofi by people who used Zantac and developed cancer, as well as other lawsuits by relatives of people who passed away after using Zantac and developing cancer. Continue reading

Sen. Brown confident both infrastructure bills will eventually pass

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the likelihood of Congress passing both infrastructure bills, including the $1.2 trillion bill before the U.S. House and the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. Both bills are critical to President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

He also spoke about legislation to introduce a 2 percent excise tax on securities repurchased by corporations, and the Power Act, which would provide border agents with handheld devices to more easily detect fentanyl coming over the border. Continue reading

The PRO Act is critical to a union’s ability to organize

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 7 Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer Jeff Mehrhoff joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the union organizing climate in Wisconsin.

He also spoke about the Rich Trumka PRO Act and how it would affect unions’ efforts to organize and recent efforts made to bridge the communication gap between union leadership and membership. Continue reading

Delaware construction unions push to grow

Jim Ascione, Treasurer of the Delaware Building and Construction Trades Council, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the Delaware union construction industry, Prevailing Wage and how the federal infrastructure bill would fuel apprenticeship programs by supporting much needed union construction jobs. Continue reading

Ohio’s new redistricting maps are gerrymandered

In 2015, Ohio voters approved Issue 1, which was designed to end gerrymandering, when the leading political party designs political districts to favor its politicians. This measure created the Ohio Redistricting Commission, which currently includes five Republicans and two Democrats.

Ohio AFL-CIO Legislative Director Matt Smith, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss political redistricting in Ohio and the efforts to prevent gerrymandering despite Republicans controlling five out of seven seats on the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

He also discussed two voter suppression bills being put forth through the Ohio legislature and the effects those bills could have on voter turnout. Continue reading

Hollywood production staff authorize strike

Production staff affiliated with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) voted Monday with a 98 percent consensus to authorize a strike over contract disputes with studio producers. The Union is advocating for better schedules, pay and work conditions.

If IATSE does go on strike, it would completely shut down studio productions for the first time since 1945.

Carl Mulert, National Business Agent of IATSE United Scenic Artists Local 829, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the strike and why artists and production hands are overwhelmingly stressed by Hollywood’s efforts to boost content efforts in the wake of COVID-19. Continue reading

Sprinkler fitter apprenticeships pave the way to good paying careers that save lives

In the last year, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) affiliates combined to invest roughly $2 billion in training and education. The United Association (UA) invests about $300 million every year to train their apprentices and journeymen.

Tim Coleman, UA Local 669 JATC Recruitment and Outreach Specialist, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss outreach efforts of the JATC, particularly when it comes to sprinkler fitter apprenticeship programs. Continue reading

SEIU uses Healthy Terminals Act to secure benefits for airport workers

The Healthy Terminals Act of New Jersey and New York ensures covered airport workers will be paid no less than the Prevailing Wage and be entitled to a standard benefits supplement of $4.54 per hour.

Kevin Brown, Executive Vice President and the New Jersey State Director of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 32BJ, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how the SEIU recently used the Healthy Terminals Act to secure higher wages, as well and healthcare benefits with no monthly co-premiums, for airport workers. Continue reading