Improving building insulation fights climate change, saves money

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports buildings account for roughly 40 percent of energy consumption in the U.S.

According to numerous studies, improved insulation is the most cost effective and efficient approach to improve energy efficiency in buildings, and slow climate change.

Pete Ielmini, Executive Director of the Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT), joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss climate change and how mechanical insulation can cut greenhouse gas emissions and save money, effectively paying for itself within six months to two years. Continue reading

Biden administration bans chemical proven toxic to workers

The Biden Administration recently reversed a Trump administration decision by instituting a ban on chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide used on citrus trees, broccoli and soybeans that reduced IQs in children exposed to it, as well as got workers sick.

Yanira Merino, National President of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the ban and the chemical’s impact on migrant workers.

She also discussed the pay gap for Latinos in the farming industry. Continue reading

Birmingham City Council to consider Responsible Bidding Ordinance

Bill Blackman, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 136 Business Manager, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss a responsible bidding ordinance being considered by the Birmingham, Ala. City Council. The ordinance would require any jobs for the city, or for projects that receive city dollars or tax abatements, to include individuals learning a trade through a Department of Labor accredited apprenticeship.

He also discussed scholarships that offer college credits alongside apprenticeships that are successful in growing apprenticeship programs. Continue reading

NCALF leader discusses Cleveland mayoral race, infrastructure and a vaccine incentive program

Pat Gallagher, North Coast Area Labor Federation President, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the Cleveland mayoral race, why goods used to invest in the nation’s infrastructure under the bipartisan infrastructure bill need to be made in America and how a USW initiated incentive program is encouraging worker vaccinations at a Cleveland iron ore mining company. Continue reading

Negotiations for federal employees easier under the Biden Administration

Darryll Bell, President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 31, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how federal government employees are faring under the Biden Administration, particularly when it comes to labor negotiations.

Bell also discussed the long hiring process at Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals and why more workers are needed to ensure high quality care for veterans. Continue reading

Florida teachers union stands with District on mask requirements for student safety

Last month, a judge declared the Florida governor’s ban on mask mandates in schools to be unconstitutional. Last Friday, a Florida appeals court ruled in favor of Governor Ron DeSantis — effectively reinstating the ban mask mandate.

DeSantis has threatened to take away millions in state funding from schools that enforce mask mandates. So far, he has only rescinded salaries for board members of two counties that have instituted mask mandates — Alachua and Broward counties.

Anna Fusco, President of the Broward Teachers Union, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why her school instituted mask requirements in the face of the governor’s ban, and how her union is working to keep students and staff healthy and safe in the midst of the pandemic. Continue reading

A Democratic Capitol Hill is good for labor legislation and working families

Frank Mathews, Administrative Director of Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 4, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss a number of life altering pieces of legislation and how Congress’ actions could benefit working families for decades to come.

He also discussed the CWA’s awarding of the Red Boxing Glove award, the Union’s highest legislative award, to Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) in honor of their fight for working families. Continue reading

Will vaccine mandates become a reality on union construction sites?

Tom Germuska Jr., Editor of The Labor Citizen, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the possibility of vaccine mandates and why they may eventually become inevitable.

He also discussed a $435 million deal between the Cleveland Indians, the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the state of Ohio to renovate Progressive Field and extend the team’s lease in Cleveland for at least 15 years.

Lastly, he discussed a study that showed partnerships between the pharmaceutical industry and craft unions yielded $23.6 billion in major construction projects over six years. Continue reading

Comcast workers secure contract after a decade-long struggle

After more than a decade of fighting to secure a negotiated union contract, Comcast technicians in Fairhaven, Mass. signed an agreement in February between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2322 and the cable conglomerate. 

Eric Hetrick, Business Manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2322, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the Union’s protracted fight to secure rights, decent wages and benefits for Comcast workers.

He also discussed the company’s anti-union efforts and how the PRO Act would secure regulations to help unions in similar struggles. Continue reading

$1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill faces tight deadline at end of the month

The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate is now before the U.S. House of Representatives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to put the bill to a vote by the end of the month, and the clock is ticking. By Sept. 30, funding for the federal transfer of dollars to the states for infrastructure maintenance expires.

Michael Johnson, President of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why it is essential for Congress to pass the infrastructure bill and not get bogged down in politics. Continue reading