Performers survived the pandemic and a decimated industry thanks to union help

No other demographic in America was affected by the pandemic quite like the live performance industry.

Within a week after March 12, 2020, the entire industry shutdown. Musicians, performers and stagehands suddenly found themselves with no income and their health insurance threatened, with no sign of when the world would re-open.

Adam Krauthamer, President of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 802, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the challenges performers faced during the pandemic and how the AFM fought to secure pay, healthcare and pension benefits for its members. Continue reading

Low pay, poor benefits: The looming labor shortage in nursing homes

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly illustrated how essential nursing aides, homecare workers and nursing assistants are to society. At the same time, these workers earn low wages and few benefits. As more Americans become elderly and the industry of direct care suffers high rates of turnover, a workforce shortage in nursing care assistants looms.

Robert Espinoza, Vice President of Policy at PHI National, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the plight of direct care workers and what can be done to address the labor shortage in this job market. Continue reading

Jury awards family over $10M in mesothelioma case

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen caused by the inhalation of asbestos. This tragic disease primarily affects workers such as mechanics, construction workers and other laborers, who suffer exposure.

Increasingly, the families of patients who suffer from this disease are winning substantial financial awards in court. Continue reading

Group Medicare plans help seniors save with better flexibility

For retirees shopping Medicare plans in the insurance space, coverage and flexibility significantly varies depending on whether you have an individual plan or group plan. Depending on the type of plan you have, you may need to research and switch plans annually to optimize coverage and have something that fits your needs.

Humana Associate Vice President of Group Medicare Eric St. Pierre joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the differences between individual and group Medicare plans and how to get the best coverage to meet your medical needs. Continue reading

Vaccines divide workers, even among medical community and families

It is a tale of two sisters, but also a tale of two opposing communities — the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. ProPublica reporter Jenny Deam, along with writers Ryan Gabrielson and Bianca Fortis wrote a story of a pair of siblings who both worked as nurses. One received the COVID-19 vaccine, the other refused.

Deam joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss this story that highlighted a shocking statistic: Roughly 40 percent of care workers in nursing homes and other long term care facilities remain unvaccinated. Continue reading

Homeless group uses collective bargaining to demand rights

Working people faced tough times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of people lost their jobs and now face financial hardship. Others, have lived a life of financial hardship and want to fight back.

Nolan Huber Rhoades of the Atlanta Homeless Union joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how the group formed and their goals. He also explained the various reasons why people lose their homes and how they can escape homelessness. Continue reading

COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard issued after more than a year

Sadly, inaction in the beginning days of the COVID-19 pandemic left many workers misguided, confused and often unprotected in a chaotic work environment. Workers watched their colleagues become furloughed or fired, and it left many too scared to speak up about their own situation.

In the early stages of the pandemic, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) was at the forefront of demanding protections for workers. On a recent America’s Work Force Union Podcast, AFGE National Veterans Affairs Council 53 First Executive Vice President MJ Burke discussed recent workplace protections. She also explored the importance of a union presence in the workplace. Continue reading

As drug prices rise, the Biden administration seeks solutions

Rising drug prices are a common worry for some Americans, but for the millions of senior citizens who need medication, the increasing costs of prescription drugs can be devastating.

Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director Rich Fiesta hypothesized a few reasons for the increase in drug prices on the AWF Union Podcast, and explained what is being done to lower those prices. Fiesta also gave an update on the Social Security Administration. Continue reading

Navigating the end of life: How to prepare

Preparing for the end of life can be a difficult task for anyone. Dividing up possessions and finances can be even more difficult.

Kelley and Ferraro Associate Attorney Joseph Stottner discussed how people should begin preparing for the end of their life, how to navigate the legal requirements and more. He also touched on the damage asbestos has done to those exposed on jobsites. Continue reading