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

Boeing poised to choose between union built or non-union built aircraft

As more people receive a COVID-19 vaccination, the airline industry is bouncing back as passengers return to the skies. In turn, airlines are confident in forecasted travel and have placed orders for new aircraft.

The America’s Work Force Union Podcast Independent Labor Voice, Tom Buffenbarger, joined the show to discuss what these orders could mean for union families. He also touched on how some of the work may be lost to non-union workers in So-Called “Right to Work” states. Continue reading

Boston Insulators push apprenticeship as a quality education

Union building trades apprenticeships can lead people to a prosperous life with great career skills. For generations, these programs have been the gold standard of construction training.

The members of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers go through one of these rigorous training programs, as apprentices learn the mechanical insulation trade. Insulators Union Local 6 Business Agent Jeff Saliba discussed apprenticeships and why the training is necessary on the AWF Union Podcast. He also discussed Prevailing Wage and other issues in the Boston area. Continue reading

Library workers succeed in organizing, but still face union election

Library workers at one central Ohio library system have strived for nearly a year to organize and form a union. Steadily inching ever closer to achieving their goal, they face one more hurdle — the election to determine if the Union has the right to exist.

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper has worked closely with the workers in their efforts and is proud of what they have accomplished. In the latest AWF Union Podcast, Cropper discussed the organizing drive, the challenges the workers faced and the need for an election despite being the only library in Ohio yet to unionize. Continue reading

Massachusetts schools look to take advantage of quality funding

Massachusetts American Federation of Teachers President Beth Kontos discussed her background and her union involvement on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast. She also discussed school funding in Massachusetts and voucher expansion. Continue reading

Labor unions invest in personalized apps for improved communication

With the help of technology companies and union savvy entrepreneurs, products and services are being made available to help improve union member communication.

Greg McHale joined the AWF Union Podcast to introduce a mobile application designed for unions and union members. McHale is the founder of the Union Strong App, an app that allows Local Unions to stay better connected to their members. Continue reading

Union pension funds create work for union members through ERECT funds

Unions have long helped workers better prepare for their retirement by offering a quality pension plan. Some investment groups have realized the stability of these funds and have found ways to help them grow even faster.

PenTrust, a real estate advisory company dealing with building trades unions and other investors, is one such group. PenTrust Chief Operating Officer Tyler Noland explained how PenTrust works, and why their investments are valuable to union members and more. 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

Food workers experience unfair conditions during pandemic, seek representation

Union favorability is at record highs, with the COVID-19 pandemic proving to many that an organized workforce is good for workers.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 700 Communications Director Brigid Kelly joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss the pandemic related workload, what COVID-19 proved to workers and why the PRO Act needs to be passed. Continue reading

St. Paul refinery workers remain locked out following short strike

Industrial work is some of the most difficult and dangerous work in the U.S. The training and safety precautions needed to work in a safe manner are great, but some companies are not meeting their responsibility of providing a safe work environment.

Workers at one Marathon refinery were recently locked out after demonstrating a one-day strike. Teamsters Local 120 Chief Union Steward Dean Benson joined AWF Union Podcast to discuss the strike, the lockout, what the workers need to work safely and more. Continue reading