Union recruitment struggles in So-Called “Right to Work” state of Iowa

Russ Jaeger, Business Manager for the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Workers Local 263, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss his union’s struggles in the So-Called “Right to Work” state of Iowa, where there is a Republican controlled legislature and governor.

He also spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic is causing people to rethink ventilation systems and countertop materials.

Lastly, he discussed the SMART registered apprenticeship program and efforts to educate guidance counselors and parents about the benefits of a registered apprenticeship program as a pathway to a solid middle class job. Continue reading

Comcast workers secure contract after a decade-long struggle

After more than a decade of fighting to secure a negotiated union contract, Comcast technicians in Fairhaven, Mass. signed an agreement in February between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2322 and the cable conglomerate. 

Eric Hetrick, Business Manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2322, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the Union’s protracted fight to secure rights, decent wages and benefits for Comcast workers.

He also discussed the company’s anti-union efforts and how the PRO Act would secure regulations to help unions in similar struggles. Continue reading

Truckers work long hours for low pay, due to lack of unionization

For the majority of truckers on the road, the time spent waiting in port or for goods to be offloaded is unpaid. This practice robs truckers of a considerable portion of their wages.

Billy Randel, Chief Organizer for the Truckers Movement for Justice, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why truckers need to unionize to secure better wages and how the Truckers Movement for Justice advocates for truckers rights and higher pay. Continue reading

Unions receive highest poll ratings in nearly 50 years

According to a recent Gallup poll, 68 percent of Americans now approve of labor unions. It is the highest approval rating organized labor has enjoyed since 1965.

Tim Burga, President of the Ohio AFL-CIO, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the increasing popularity of unions and the leadership direction of the AFL-CIO after the passing of Rich Trumka.

Burga also discussed the redistricting of Ohio’s congressional map following the census and how the process continues to be threatened by gerrymandering. Continue reading

UAW: Museum professionals value the right to organize

As one of the largest and most diverse unions in America, the United Auto Workers (UAW) also fight for the rights of lawyers, librarians, museum professionals and more.

Maida Rosenstein, President of UAW Local 2110, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss her work with museum workers, and why museum management often opposes union representation. Continue reading

Teamsters secure contracts with XPO Logistics in Trenton and Miami

Organizing has been tough at XPO Logistics, a diverse freight hauling company that does logistics for the likes of Pepsi, Quaker and IKEA. The company has been notoriously anti-union. After holding successful votes for unionization, many locations have struggled to get a first contract.

After a long fight, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters ratified separate contracts for its members in Trenton, N.J. and Miami. The contracts were signed a week apart.

Greg Chockley, National Campaign Coordinator for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the Teamster’s efforts to ratify the contracts, anti-union strategies used by XPO during negotiations and more. 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

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

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