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

Companies mistreat workers through temp agencies, independent contracting

Women face unique struggles in the workplace. In order to limit these problems, they are pushing Senate Democrats to pass the PRO Act.

For women, documenting workplace problems can be difficult, as many go unreported because they are afraid to speak out. Mindy Isser, contributor to The Nation, told the stories some women are facing on the AWF Union Podcast. Continue reading

Apprenticeship recruiters work with “influencers” to attract young people

Many Americans are unaware of the benefits available to the men and women who enter a registered building trades apprenticeship program. Instead, these Americans believe in pushing the next generation of students towards college, where they pay thousands and then have to go find a job for themselves.

United Association Local 669 is a unique Local Union, as it represents fire sprinkler professionals in 48 states. UA Local 669 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee Recruitment and Outreach Specialist Tim Coleman joined AWF Union Podcast to discuss apprenticeship and how it can benefit Americans. Continue reading

Refinery workers look to organize for better pay and training

Refinery workers are taking issue with Marathon after the oil company recently hired low skill, untrained workers to work in the refinery. Workers are worried the decision may cause safety issues.

Laborers International Union of North America Minnesota and North Dakota Campaign Director Kevin Pranis joined AWF Union Podcast to discuss utility scale renewable energy, pipelines and workers at the Marathon refineries. Continue reading

Federal employees embark on new organizing initiative

Federal workers feel as if they are back on the right track now that President Biden has taken office. Employees are once again being seen as a value asset.

The American Federation of Government Employees took a beating the past four years according to AFGE District 6 National Vice President Arnold Scott. Scott joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss a new organizing initiative and legislation to help federal employees get back on track. Continue reading

Graduate students win union contract, build dedicated membership

Graduate students often work in the capacity of employees, yet do not receive the same compensation or treatment an employee would receive for doing the same tasks and work. Unions are noticing this, and they are organizing grad students.

The UAW is one union who took notice and organized graduate students at the University of Connecticut. UCONN GEU-UAW Local 6950 President Jordan McMillan joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss her experience in the union and what is at stake in upcoming negotiations. Continue reading

Union favorability increases organizing in the media

With union favorability on the rise, journalists and other members of the media are organizing at a record pace. The low pay and poor treatment of news workers is causing them to seek representation in hopes of better working conditions.

With the high volume of ongoing organizing, AWF Union Podcast welcomed NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss to the show to discuss their ongoing efforts throughout the country, especially in New York City. Continue reading

Unions, workers gain momentum and lose ground throughout the country

As Amazon workers in Alabama are in the midst of a union vote, workers across the country are seeing various rates of progress on labor rights in the early stages of the Biden administration.

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Assistant General Counsel Amanda Jaret detailed three cases where workers are either seeing positive results or are being hindered in their efforts on America’s Work Force Union Podcast. Continue reading