$1 trillion infrastructure plan “a down payment” on the rebuilding of America

In August, the U.S. Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill with bipartisan support. The bill now goes to the U.S. House, which is expected to vote on the bill later this month.

The bill provides $550 billion in new federal spending, including $110 billion for roads, bridges and other projects; $25 billion for airports; and the most funding for Amtrak since the passenger rail service was founded in 1971. Continue reading

Unions receive highest poll ratings in nearly 50 years

According to a recent Gallup poll, 68 percent of Americans now approve of labor unions. It is the highest approval rating organized labor has enjoyed since 1965.

Tim Burga, President of the Ohio AFL-CIO, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the increasing popularity of unions and the leadership direction of the AFL-CIO after the passing of Rich Trumka.

Burga also discussed the redistricting of Ohio’s congressional map following the census and how the process continues to be threatened by gerrymandering. Continue reading

Labor Day special: U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joins AWF

The U.S. has a union member at the helm of the Department of Labor for the first time in almost 50 years. Part of the department’s mission is to “foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States.” With a union member leading the way, many in the labor movement believe workers will be better represented than in recent years.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast on the special Labor Day edition. Secretary Walsh discussed his upbringing in a union household, being selected to serve as Labor Secretary, how the department of labor will improve the standing of workers, multiemployer pension plans and more. Continue reading

Sen. Brown: Infrastructure bill is great news for Ohio jobs

The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the U.S. Senate last month will mean good union jobs for Ohioans, if passed by the U.S. House and signed into law by the President.

The bill includes $550 billion in new federal spending, including $65 billion to expand high-speed internet access; $110 billion for roads, bridges and other projects; $25 billion for airports; and the largest funding round for Amtrak since the passenger rail service was founded in 1971.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss what the bill will mean for Ohio’s workers, particularly when it comes to public transit and rebuilding bridges. Continue reading

Could amending the filibuster benefit unions?

Democrats have control of Congress in both the U.S. House and Senate, but if the filibuster rule requiring a supermajority of 60 votes to pass Senate legislation remains, much of its pro-union legislation will remain stalled at the gate.

Bill Samuel, Director of Government Affairs for the AFL-CIO, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why changing or amending the filibuster would change the game for unions and the right to organize. Continue reading

AFL-CIO in good hands with succession of leadership

The passing of labor legend Rich Trumka was a shock to many. Last Friday, Liz Schuler, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, was appointed as the organization’s new President.

Fred Redmond was appointed to fill Schuler’s role as AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer.

Tom Buffenbarger, America’s Work Force Union Podcast independent labor voice, joined today’s episode to discuss Trumka’s legacy and why the federation is in good hands under the leadership of Schuler and Redmond. Continue reading

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