Bank employees secure rare union contract

Last month, workers at Beneficial State Bank ratified their first union contract, an agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7901 and Local 9412. The contract covers 96 workers at 13 bank branches in Oregon, California and Washington, including bankers, consumer loan servicing representatives, loan processors, underwriters, file clerks and custodial staff.

CWA District 4 Administrative Director Frank Mathews joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss what he thinks this contract means for the banking industry and why he thinks it could have a domino effect across the country. Continue reading

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh understands the challenges workers face

Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 11 Business Manager Dennis Desmond joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the current pro-union climate in Washington that has been fostered by the Biden Administration, including the appointment of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who has a strong union background as a member of LiUNA and as the former head of the Greater Boston Building Trades Unions 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

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

Union journeymen earn similar wages and benefits as college grads

A recent study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor found that those who complete union apprenticeship programs in the construction industry achieve nearly equal wages and benefits, on average, as other workers with four-year college degrees.

Tommy Maloney, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 96 Business Manager, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how a union apprenticeship can be a ticket to the middle class.

He also discussed two solar farms being built in Massachusetts and what the federal infrastructure bill means for jobs in the electrical industry. Continue reading

Congress stares down debt ceiling deadline to avoid government shutdown

America’s Work Force Union Podcast Independent Labor Voice, Tom Buffenbarger, joined today’s episode to discuss the dangerous game politicians are playing by refusing to raise the debt ceiling.

No action by Congress could force the government to shut down and cause undue suffering for many people. If businesses supplied by the government cannot get paid, they may have to lay off workers. Continue reading

USW redistricting: District 2 to be absorbed into Districts 1 and 7

Michael Bolton, Director of United Steelworkers (USW) District 2 will not run for re-election. The International decided not to replace his position and will instead absorb his district into other districts. District 2 covers steelworkers in Michigan and Wisconsin. Michigan steelworkers will be absorbed into District 1 in Ohio; Wisconsin steelworkers will be absorbed into District 7 in Indiana and Illinois.

USW District 1 Director Donnie Blatt, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the Union’s redistricting efforts — and why the move will strengthen and solidify both districts through larger numbers and a stronger voice.

He also discussed COVID-19 vaccinations and what the USW is doing to encourage worker vaccinations in order to protect its members and their families. Continue reading

Congress must address federal debt ceiling

According to an analysis by Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi, if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling and the U.S. is unable to pay its debts, the country could fall into another recession. He believes upwards of 6 million jobs could be lost, $15 trillion in household wealth could be erased and the unemployment rate could double.

Bill Samuel, AFL-CIO Director of Government Affairs, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why he thinks Congress will raise the debt ceiling. He also discussed the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill as well as the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and why both bills have a high likelihood of eventually passing. Continue reading

IBEW endorses George in Boston mayor’s race

Boston’s longtime mayor, Marty Walsh was nominated by President Biden to be U.S. Labor Secretary and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. His departure has led to a special mayor’s election that included five major candidates. They were narrowed down to two in a nonpartisan election last week: Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George.

Lou Antonellis, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103 Business Manager, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why the IBEW is endorsing George in the race. 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