International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers Executive Director of Safety and Health Steve Rank discussed safety issues faced by ironworkers, national Safety Stand Down week and more on the Sept. 17 episode of America’s Work Force Union Podcast. Continue reading
As a District Representative for the Safety and Health Department at the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers Wayne Creasap has been busy during the COVID-19 pandemic. He discussed the issues faced and progress made by the Ironworkers on the Aug. 31 episode of America’s Work Force Radio Podcast. Continue reading
Frank Mathews, administrative director for Communication Workers of America District 4 spoke with America’s Work Force on May 14 to discuss problems involving AT&T breaking promises on creating more jobs.
Mathews discussed AT&T asking for a tax break that they would create more jobs in return. After receiving a $21 billion tax break, AT&T eliminated 20,000 jobs, even offshoring certain call center jobs. Mathews said that AT&T claimed that they had created 3,000 jobs, but that was after eliminating over 20,000, so they are still down thousands of jobs. With the tax breaks, AT&T CEOs have been giving themselves bonuses, as well as other benefits. He then went on to talk about the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) act and how it will strengthen worker rights. A big problem right now is workers being misclassified, which is causing them to lose benefits, worse wages, and have less job security.
Rich Jordan, business manager for the Ironworkers Local 17 spoke about apprenticeships and getting more people involved in the trades. He spoke about the benefits of an apprenticeship with Local 17, such as free training, earn-while-you-learn pay model, good benefits, and job security. Jordan said that currently, there are 250 apprentices in their program, but they are always trying to recruit more. Ironworkers Local 17 accepts apprenticeship applications in their office every Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc discussed President Trump imposing more tariffs on items such as batteries, spinach, and coffee.
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On March 5, Bill Brown from Ben Hur Construction, St. Louis, Missouri, spoke about the benefits of going into the construction trades during his time on America’s Work Force.
Brown, who was a former marine, discussed going into the construction trades after he transitioned from active-duty back into civilian life and how easy he had assimilated to the training. He talked about programs such as Helmets to Hardhats, that provide training in the trades while guaranteeing job placement or an earn while you learn apprenticeship with a federally approved apprenticeship program. Brown talked about all of the benefits of an apprenticeship, such as free training, earn while you learn, good starting wages and a path to the middle class rather than going to college or university and taking on student debt without being guaranteed a job. He then talked about the quality of training in union construction and how they spend hundreds of hours perfecting their craft to make sure the work that they will be providing is well above the competition’s quality of work.
Tim Burga, President of the Ohio AFL-CIO spoke with AWF on March 5 about Governor Dewine’s gas tax increase to help fix roads and other infrastructure. He also talked about the misguided priorities of legislators over the years, avoiding the problems with fixing roads, as well as giving tax breaks to corporations who could help fix the roads. Lastly, Burga discussed lawmakers trying to repeal prevailing wage, in a union busting fashion, in certain areas where they do not think it is necessary to have it.