Senate Republicans block debate on bipartisan infrastructure bill

Senate Republicans blocked a bipartisan infrastructure bill from advancing to debate yesterday in the Senate. The sweeping legislation has been a key theme of the Biden administration.

AFL-CIO Government Affairs Director Bill Samuel agrees a sweeping infrastructure bill is needed. Samuel joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the infrastructure bill, the problem with privatizing infrastructure and more. Continue reading

Union tradesmen, tradeswomen keep busy as COVID-19 restrictions ease

Construction projects are taking off all over the U.S. 

Part of the building boom is driven by a number of projects put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while other projects are being driven by the favorable economy.

On a recent America’s Work Force Union Podcast, Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association (OPCMIA) International Representative Joe Ciacchi discussed how union members are handling the building boom and the benefits of a registered apprenticeship program. Continue reading

COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard issued after more than a year

Sadly, inaction in the beginning days of the COVID-19 pandemic left many workers misguided, confused and often unprotected in a chaotic work environment. Workers watched their colleagues become furloughed or fired, and it left many too scared to speak up about their own situation.

In the early stages of the pandemic, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) was at the forefront of demanding protections for workers. On a recent America’s Work Force Union Podcast, AFGE National Veterans Affairs Council 53 First Executive Vice President MJ Burke discussed recent workplace protections. She also explored the importance of a union presence in the workplace. Continue reading

Laborers signatory contractors look to build market share

The attitude toward unions varies in different regions of the U.S. This leaves unions and signatory contractors to work together to build market share.

Missouri-Kansas Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) Executive Director Laura Wagner discussed the purpose of LECET, what the labor climate looks like in Missouri and Kansas, how the pandemic affects labor and more. 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

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

As drug prices rise, the Biden administration seeks solutions

Rising drug prices are a common worry for some Americans, but for the millions of senior citizens who need medication, the increasing costs of prescription drugs can be devastating.

Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director Rich Fiesta hypothesized a few reasons for the increase in drug prices on the AWF Union Podcast, and explained what is being done to lower those prices. Fiesta also gave an update on the Social Security Administration. Continue reading

Transferring skills from the military to the civilian workforce

Many military service personnel struggle to adjust to civilian life after they complete their time in the service. Finding a career where their skills are transferable can be difficult, but the work ethic of veterans often makes them great employees.

An article in the upcoming American Legion Magazine will discuss transferable skills and finding civilian employment after leaving the service. American Legion Director of Media and Communications Jeff Stoffer joined the AWF Union Podcast to preview this story and another about the use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Continue reading

State of Texas focuses on widening highways, ignores public transit

The state of Texas has invested significant taxpayer money into expanding the state’s highway and road system, despite research that claims these projects do little to alleviate congestion.

Texas Observer Executive Editor Megan Kimble has studied road infrastructure throughout the state and wrote about the issues faced by commuters. Kimble joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to explain why Texas roads and highways are dangerous and why the problem has not been solved. Continue reading