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

America is stronger with unions

James Hart, President of the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the importance of unions in the fight to advance the middle class, why workplace safety protects workers while simultaneously making companies more profitable and the importance of the Rich Trumka PRO Act. Continue reading

Vaccine mandates create a safe space for artists and audiences

Len DiCosimo, President of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 4, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss mask requirements and vaccine mandates, particularly at concerts and theater performances.

He also discussed how the American Rescue Plan helped artists, musicians and venues recover from the financial devastation of the pandemic — and why the arts need to stick together through these trying times. Continue reading

Ohio teachers’ union calls on governor to institute school mask mandate

The Ohio Federation of Teachers is calling on Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to institute a mask mandate for all Ohio public schools, arguing it would reduce the spread of COVID-19 and allow more schools to remain open for face-to-face instruction.

Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why mask mandates in Ohio schools are necessary to protect the health of children and teachers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also discussed an upcoming union election at the Worthington Public Libraries, as well as redistricting efforts in Ohio that many argue continue to be heavily gerrymandered. 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

Kelley & Ferraro lawyer discusses Zantac and Philips CPAP recalls

Joyce Reichard, an Associate at Kelley & Ferraro, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the Zantac and Philips CPAP recalls, both of which have spurred numerous lawsuits because of their potentially cancer causing effects. Continue reading

Refinery to hire non-union workers for turnaround

For generations, the Lima Refinery routinely relied on Local Union workers for its annual maintenance turnaround — repairing and replacing worn out parts, pumps and equipment to ensure the plant continues production and avoids costly shutdowns.

In operation for over 135 years, the Ohio plant was acquired by Canadian-based Cenovus Energy in January. The new owners told building trades leaders they planned to bring in 3,000 out-of-town non-union workers to do the turnaround — an unprecedented move considering multiple generations of union families in Lima have consistently performed the turnaround work. Continue reading

Are OSHA fines and penalties enough to mandate worker?

Some companies choose whether or not to follow federal and state workplace safety regulations based on a mathematical calculation. Too often, penalties are so minor that it is cheaper for the company to break the law and pay the fines, rather than adequately address the safety or worker rights issue.

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale believes this is true, and he joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how companies base breaking rules and regulations on a simple financial calculation, he also made the case that more must be done to hold companies accountable. Continue reading

Better Business Bureau cautions against online charity scammers

In the face of national disasters such as the recent Haitian earthquake and humanitarian crises resulting from the U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, many Americans feel one way to help is to give to charitable organizations.

Unfortunately, these events also provide opportunities for scammers.

Cleveland Better Business Bureau President and CEO Sue McConnell, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss what to look out for when evaluating a charity and how to spot charity scammers. Continue reading

Better firestop installation and inspection can save lives

About 57 percent of people killed in fires are not in the room of the fire’s origin, according to the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook.

Firewalls are designed to protect against the spread of fire from one room to another, but if there are holes in the firewall, such as a hole drilled to install fiber optic wire for example, the wall becomes compromised. Continue reading