Fred Redmond new Secretary-Treasurer of AFL-CIO

Following the recent death of Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO since 2009, Liz Schuler, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, was appointed as the organization’s new President. This was a historical feat, as she became the first woman to be elected president of the federation.

Fred Redmond was then appointed to fill Schuler’s role as AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer. He became the first African American to hold the position, the second highest ranking position within the AFL-CIO.

Just days after his appointment, Redmond joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss his goals and aspirations for the position, and what it means to have a minority-led AFL-CIO for the first time in history. Continue reading

A new sheriff in town: Biden’s union friendly approach good for workers

Thanks to the election of Joe Biden as U.S President, there is a new sheriff in town — particularly when it comes to unions in America. From the beginning of his presidency, Biden issued executive orders revoking Trump-era executive orders that limited union organization and sided with management and big business.

Willie Haywood Jr., National Veterans Affairs Council 262 Sixth District President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss changes under the Biden administration and their effects on unions. He also discussed staffing efforts at the Veterans Administration, as management struggles to deal with ongoing shortages. Continue reading

Wisconsin unions struggle with “Right to Work” and Prevailing Wage loss

During the leadership of former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin became anti-union, with the enactment of so-called “Right to Work” laws and the elimination of Prevailing Wage. Though current Gov. Tony Evers is more union-friendly, the Wisconsin legislature maintains a historically anti-union majority

The existence of so-called “Right to Work” laws and the loss of Prevailing Wage created a hostile climate for Wisconsin unions as they struggled to fight for the rights of all workers, to maintain quality wages and to ensure workers have a safe and healthy work environment.

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 how the IUPAT approaches these challenges and why more must be done to improve the lives of workers. Continue reading

Union careers offer good pay, benefits and the means to raise a family

Following eight years under Gov. Scott Walker’s leadership, the climate in Wisconsin was decidedly anti-union, with So-Called “Right to Work” laws in the state and the loss of Prevailing Wage. Now thanks to Gov. Tony Evers, the labor climate is recovering and unions are regaining their strength.

Dan Bukiewicz, President of the Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss what the infrastructure bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate means for the trades, as well as the great opportunities apprenticeship brings to high school and college graduates looking to start union careers. Continue reading

What the infrastructure bill means to auto workers

The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed the U.S. Senate and has gone onto the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi suggested the House will not consider the bill unless the Senate also advances the reconciliation bill that triples the investment of the infrastructure bill to include strengthening of childcare, housing and healthcare.

United Auto Workers Legislative Representative Desiree Hoffman joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss what the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill would mean for working families. Continue reading

What will more accessible broadband internet mean to working families?

According to the White House, more than 30 million Americans do not have access to quality broadband internet. As Congress considers a bipartisan infrastructure bill, about $65 billion has been earmarked to expand broadband access.

Frank Mathews, Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 4 Administrative Director, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the potential effects of broadband expansion in rural and inner-city America. He also discussed the PRO Act and his Union’s efforts to urge leaders to back the proposed bill. Continue reading

A heated 11th District race produces low turnout, but a clear winner

Stretching from Cleveland to Akron, Ohio’s 11th Congressional District recently had a heated Special Primary Election, although voter turnout remained low. Nevertheless, Shontel Brown, endorsed by the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council (CBCTC), won the Democratic nomination with 50.18 percent of the vote, beating out Nina Turner, who won 44.52 percent of the vote, and multiple other candidates.

Dave Wondolowski, Executive Secretary of the CBCTC, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the election, as well as the upcoming Cleveland mayor’s race. Continue reading

Green energy creates union jobs to address climate change

Climate change is drastically impacting our economy, but it is simultaneously ushering in unprecedented opportunities. While many good paying middle class jobs in oil, gas and coal are being phased out, new careers in wind, solar and other renewable energy sectors are emerging.

Workers can take advantage of the opportunities resulting from this transformation.

Secretary-Treasurer of the Texas AFL-CIO, Leonard Aguilar, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the Texas Climate Jobs Project — an initiative to help workers better embrace the opportunities of renewable energy — as well as the political climate of Texas as politicians and health officials grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

Infrastructure bill divides Congress, but promises to rebuild America

What constitutes infrastructure? This question divides Democrats and Republicans and drives debate about what should go into proposed infrastructure legislation.

Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the federal infrastructure bill and the need to expand its provisions. Continue reading

What does a $550B infrastructure bill mean for Ohio?

A $550 billion bi-partisan infrastructure bill, expected to soon go to a vote in the Senate, would deliver substantial improvements to roads, bridges, and sewage systems in Ohio — not to mention create jobs for Ohio workers, if passed.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the bill, the improvements it would bring to Ohio and the fact the bill includes language from the Build America, Buy America Act. Brown pushed the Build America, Buy America Act, which ensures American taxpayer dollars are used to buy American-made iron, steel and manufactured products for any federally funded infrastructure projects. Continue reading