Wisconsin unions struggle with “Right to Work” and Prevailing Wage loss

During the leadership of former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin became anti-union, with the enactment of so-called “Right to Work” laws and the elimination of Prevailing Wage. Though current Gov. Tony Evers is more union-friendly, the Wisconsin legislature maintains a historically anti-union majority

The existence of so-called “Right to Work” laws and the loss of Prevailing Wage created a hostile climate for Wisconsin unions as they struggled to fight for the rights of all workers, to maintain quality wages and to ensure workers have a safe and healthy work environment.

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 7 Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer Jeff Mehrhoff joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how the IUPAT approaches these challenges and why more must be done to improve the lives of workers. Continue reading

Carpenters organize a diverse workforce in Tennessee

Union organizing is picking up, with more diverse populations becoming members of the building trades. Even in So-Called “Right to Work” states, unions are finding some organizing success.

United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 74 Business Representative Rodney Graham discussed his Local’s organizing progress on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast. He also discussed immigration reform and other issues. Continue reading

Organized labor seeks to grow apprenticeship in southeast Ohio

Throughout the U.S., there are numerous attempts to limit the influence of unions through so-called “Right to Work” laws and other anti-worker legislation.

Parkersburg-Marietta Building and Construction Trades Council Business Manager Buddy Malone faces a unique challenge, as his jurisdiction covers areas in both Ohio and West Virginia. When Malone appeared on the AWF Union Podcast, he discussed the attitude towards unions in the area, promoted apprenticeship programs and legislation affecting workers. Continue reading

Fighting off so-called “Right to Work” in Ohio and promoting fair contracting

While some people are fleeing metropolitan areas, other people are flocking to metropolitan areas like Columbus, Ohio for the abundance of tech jobs and other work in up and coming industries.

Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Executive-Secretary Treasurer Dorsey Hager is helping to make sure the labor required to meet the construction demand in Ohio’s capital city is performed by highly qualified tradesmen and tradeswomen. He joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss how work is going in the area, vaccine distribution and some issues being faced in central Ohio. Continue reading

Montana defeats So-Called “Right to Work” legislation

Despite So-Called “Right to Work” laws being implemented in various states throughout the U.S., Montana recently defeated an attempt to implement the anti-worker legislation in their state.

The Montana AFL-CIO led the charge in terms of groups who pushed back on the bill. Their communications director, James Burrows joined AWF Union Podcast to explain how the opposition campaign worked and how other state federations can do the same. Continue reading

Study finds So-Called “Right to Work” laws harm the working class

So-Called “Right to Work” laws have fractured the labor movement, all while failing to make good on promises to provide more opportunities for workers.

Illinois Economic Policy Institute Policy Director Frank Manzo discussed the harm in So-Called “Right to Work” laws using a study recently published by the Illinois EPI and explained what needs to be done to get working people back on track. Continue reading

Virginia becomes first to establish permanent workplace protections due to COVID-19

Virginia has recently become the first state to pass a permanent workplace virus protection standard. Now some states are seeking to follow suit and develop a standard of their own.

Virginia AFL-CIO President Doris Crouse-Mays joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the standard, So-Called “Right to Work,” how working people have become heroes because of the pandemic and more. Continue reading

Unemployment insurance claims system lags in Kentucky, leaving many with unanswered claims

Many states with Republican supermajorities have taken steps to limit collective action by workers by passing anti-worker legislation, such as So-Called “Right to Work” laws and more.

Kentucky is one such state where workers have fallen under attack. Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the state political environment, workplace safety and more. Continue reading

Steelworkers continue to adjust to working and staying positive amidst a pandemic

Workers have done a lot to adjust to working amidst a global pandemic. They have dealt with additional personal protective equipment, changing schedules and more.

United Steelworkers District 9 Director Dan Flippo discussed how workers have adapted to the pandemic, how unions have fared in southern So-Called “Right to Work” states and how unions have had a seat at the table with President-elect Biden. Continue reading

Ohio Building Trades leader provides construction industry update amid COVID-19 and election

Under the Donald Trump presidency, labor leaders have had mixed feelings about whether President Trump helped or hurt various sectors of labor.

Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Mike Knisley explained the good and bad things that have happened for the building trades during the Trump administration and what Ohio building trades leaders are doing to expand the workforce and secure more work. Continue reading