Ohio legislature passes broadband expansion after multiple attempts

The definition of infrastructure has broadened as new technologies have been introduced over the years. Broadband is a fairly new technology that was proven necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic, but remains inaccessible to many Americans.

Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Senior Outreach and Educational Specialist Andrew Tinkham joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss legislation to hold utility companies accountable for taking advantage of consumers. He also updated listeners on the progress of broadband expansion funding in Ohio. Continue reading

Educating end users on the importance of mechanical insulation

Educating business owners and other decision makers is vital to the success of the mechanical insulation industry. Without knowledge of the many benefits of mechanical insulation, it is difficult for a project owner to invest in the technology.

The Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT) works to advance the industry. Mechanical Insulators LMCT Executive Director Pete Ielmini joined the AWF Union Podcast to preview a new course designed to educate end users about the value of properly installed and maintained mechanical insulation. Continue reading

Mechanical insulators look ahead to clean energy work

As the U.S. begins the gradual shift away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy sources, building trades unions are working to make sure their members are trained to work on these new technologies to ensure they have future work.

Mechanical insulators stand to gain a great amount of work, as their trade deals directly with energy conservation. Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT) Deputy Director Gina Walsh detailed her career for AWF Union Podcast listeners. She also explained how mechanical insulators can lead the way in energy conservation. Continue reading

St. Paul refinery workers remain locked out following short strike

Industrial work is some of the most difficult and dangerous work in the U.S. The training and safety precautions needed to work in a safe manner are great, but some companies are not meeting their responsibility of providing a safe work environment.

Workers at one Marathon refinery were recently locked out after demonstrating a one-day strike. Teamsters Local 120 Chief Union Steward Dean Benson joined AWF Union Podcast to discuss the strike, the lockout, what the workers need to work safely and more. Continue reading

Enbridge Line 5 continues production despite threats from Gov. Whitmer

While the U.S. seeks to shift away from fossil fuels, the move must be made over time. Issues with the immediate shutdown of pipelines are rising and politicians are at a crossroads of protecting the environment and protecting jobs.

United Steelworkers Local 912 President Justin Donley is fighting to protect the work of his members at the Toledo Refinery in Toledo, Ohio, which processes light sweet crude from Enbridge Line 5. Donley joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss this ongoing issue and what it would do to certain regional economies in the midwest. Continue reading

Miners strike in Alabama for better benefits and wages

Throughout the U.S., the labor movement is growing in new industries such as technology and development, and it is rejuvenating in sectors like mining working and other labor-centric industries.

United Mine Workers of America Director of Governmental Affairs Phil Smith joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss an ongoing strike, how the workers rose up and what is being offered. He also gave an update on the current state of the mining industry. Continue reading

Unions look to capture work in the clean energy sector

As the energy sector begins to move away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources, building trades unions and affiliated contractors will have to invest resources into preparing members to perform this new work.

While much of the work is currently performed by non-union tradesmen and tradeswomen, NXTGEN Clean Energy Solutions Founder Russ Bates believes the industry can be captured by union labor. He discussed the industry and where it is heading on the AWF Union Podcast. Continue reading

Rebuilding the post COVID-19 economy through green energy

Recently released federal infrastructure plans and major corporations have pointed to renewable energy ousting fossil fuels. Not only is the up front cost of green energy systems dropping, but they are better for the environment than fossil fuels.

Dave Bush of Environmental Entrepreneurs joined Ed “Flash” Ferenc on the AWF Union Podcast to discuss the future of the energy industry and what the building trades will need to do in order to prepare tradesmen and tradeswomen to perform this work. Continue reading

Texas blackouts cause states to analyze their own power plans

While most states regulate their power grid and connect into the U.S. grid, states such as Texas have suffered catastrophic consequences in the name of deregulation, which which caused many in the state to suffer physical and financial hardship.

Ohio has done well to ensure residents have reliable power in the event of a bad storm. Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Senior Outreach and Education Program Specialist Andrew Tinkham appeared on America’s Work Force Union Podcast and explained why Texans suffered following the storm. He also discussed Ohio’s energy sectors and the current happenings within it. Continue reading

USW fights for workers depending on Enbridge Line 5

As Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer attempts to halt the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, labor unions who represent workers on the pipeline are pushing back.

United Steelworkers National Rapid Response Coordinator Randie Pearson joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to explain what the Rapid Response program is and why Enbridge Line 5 is vital to their members. Continue reading