Unions provide Kentucky workers a safer workplace

Labor unions are reaching approval ratings and enthusiasm levels not seen in decades. This can partially be credited to working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because workers now understand their worth and demand better pay and safer work environments.

Although Kentucky is not the most union-friendly state, the labor movement is gaining traction there, as more people are seeing the value of unions. Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan joined AWF Union Podcast to discuss unions in his state, striking coal miners in Alabama and the message they are sending workers throughout the U.S. Continue reading

Protecting low-wage workers from unfair treatment

Low-wage workers face a unique set of challenges and often feel trapped for a number of reasons. Sadly, these challenges are amplified if the worker is an immigrant.

Arise Chicago Worker Center Director Laura Garza joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to explain how the organization helps workers combat wage theft and other workplace issues. She also discussed the outlook for immigrant workers under the labor-friendly Biden administration. Continue reading

Writers organize unions to save stripped down newsrooms

In recent decades, the news industry has drastically changed, as companies slashed payroll and entire publications have disappeared. Unions and workers have taken notice and are taking action.

Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild (WBNG) President Fatima Hussein joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the labor movement in the news industry. She explained who the WBNG represents, why newspapers have shrunk and more. Continue reading

Providing opportunities for military veterans in the trades

The building trades are in need of people who are prepared to work with their hands and understand the importance of teamwork. Programs are popping up all over the U.S. to recruit and pre-train these potential workers.

The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Trades are advocating for people to choose a career in their trade. On the America’s Work Force Union Podcast, Mechanical Insulators Labor Management and Cooperative Trust Executive Director Pete Ielmini explained their efforts and how veterans make great tradesmen and tradeswomen. Ielmini also discussed how unions are taking action against companies who participate in union busting. Continue reading

Adding jobs to the economy in the budding cannabis industry

The cannabis industry is taking off in many states where it has been legalized for recreational purposes. Some unions see opportunity in the new industry, which could potentially create tens of thousands of new jobs.

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/United Food and Commercial Workers Local 338 Political and Communications Director Nikki Kateman joined the AWF Union Podcast to explain what the cannabis industry can do for the American economy. She also discussed working during a pandemic and how their union’s workers were treated. Continue reading

Union construction projects take off in post-pandemic Tennessee

Construction tradesmen and tradeswomen working in Tennessee are busy, as the state has seen an uptick in construction projects since COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Despite the high volume of ongoing work, the organized labor community is speaking out against contractors hiring unskilled, untrained labor, who are paid under the table. Tennessee AFL-CIO President Billy Dycus talked about connecting with workers, the progress of the construction industry and more on America’s Work Force Union Podcast. Continue reading

Allegheny Technologies Inc. workers ratify contract with USW

Workers at Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) ratified a contract with the United Steelworkers, ending a strike at the company.

North Coast Area Labor Federation President Pat Gallagher discussed the new contract, its terms, why workers went on strike and more on today’s episode of the America’s Workforce Union Podcast. Continue reading

Organizing Amazon employees: Why it needs to be done

Although a recent union organizing drive at an Amazon fulfilment center in Alabama failed, union leaders are calling for more organizing attempts as companies continue to undermine workplace safety and worker rights.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1932 Secretary-Treasurer/Principal Officer Randy Korgan discussed the need to organize Amazon workers on the AWF Union Podcast. Korgan also explained what Teamsters Local 1932 members do and more. Continue reading

Library staff organizes for improved wages and better benefits

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many workers to realize they deserve more for their labor, sparking union organizing drives in many industries, including libraries.

Worthington Public Library workers have taken up their own organizing drive and believe they will be successful in their efforts. Worthington Public Libraries United Organizer Tara Shiman described their efforts, why they are organizing and their support on the AWF Union Podcast. Continue reading

White collar workers seek representation, view unions favorably

More people are seeking union representation now than anytime in decades. While the increase was boosted by the pandemic, union enthusiasm and favorability was on the rise before COVID-19 hit.

Many unions represent workers in blue collar professions, such as construction or transportation. However, more white collar professionals are seeking representation for various reasons. Department of Professional Employees Communications Director Katie Barrows discussed organizing professional employees and why they are seeking representation. Continue reading