America’s Work Force Union Podcast
John Russo (Working Class Perspectives) / Maria Somma (United Steelworkers)

John Russo (Working Class Perspectives) / Maria Somma (United Steelworkers)

October 22, 2021

The Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and Working Poor at Georgetown University Visiting Scholar John Russo was today’s first guest on the AWF Union Podcast. He spoke about workers striking across the U.S., worker burnout and issues with misclassified employees.

United Steelworkers Organizing Director Maria Somma was also featured on today’s podcast. She spoke about a recent organizing victory at the University of Pittsburgh and what it means for a union to have an “industrial model” for organizing college employees.

Chuck Collins (The Nation) / Dave Wondolowski (Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council)

Chuck Collins (The Nation) / Dave Wondolowski (Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council)

October 21, 2021

The Nation Contributing Writer Chuck Collins joined the AWF Union Podcast today to discuss his article, “The Pandora Papers Reveal How the Super-Rich Shaft the Rest of Us.” He reported how the ultra rich reap the benefits of public investment, but do not pay their fair share in taxes. It also discussed shell corporations, hidden wealth systems and other techniques used to hide money.

Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Dave Wondolowski was also featured on today’s show. He spoke about the mayoral race in Cleveland and the candidate endorsed by the building trades council.

Laurie Glicker / Joe Graceffo (AFGE Local 3283) / David Madland (Center for American Progress)

Laurie Glicker / Joe Graceffo (AFGE Local 3283) / David Madland (Center for American Progress)

October 20, 2021

American Federation of Government Employees Local 3283 Executive Vice President Laurie Glicker and Legislative Political Coordinator Joe Graceffo were the first guests on today’s edition of the AWF Union Podcast. They spoke about shortening the probationary period for federal employees, attempts to privatize VA hospitals and how unions are benefitting with President Biden in office.

Also featured on today’s episode was Center for American Progress Senior Fellow David Madland. He spoke about the racial wealth gap, unequal distribution of wealth causing an inability for people to invest in themselves and their family’s futures and how union membership can help shrink the gap.

Melissa Cropper (Ohio Federation of Teachers, AFT) / Kris LaGrange (UCOMM Blog)

Melissa Cropper (Ohio Federation of Teachers, AFT) / Kris LaGrange (UCOMM Blog)

October 19, 2021

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper addressed the “Backpack Bill,” Ohio House Bill 290, which could gut public education and provide a universal voucher to all students in Ohio regardless of income or the performance of their local public schools. She also spoke about student loan forgiveness and the alarming rate of student loan debt.

UCOMM Blog Editor-in-Chief Kris LaGrange was also featured on today’s episode of the AWF Union Podcast. He gave advice on what to do and what not to do when standing in solidarity with striking workers. LaGrange also encouraged unions to take advantage of having President Biden in office.

Leonard Aguilar (Texas AFL-CIO) / Marcy Goldstein-Gelb (NCOSH)

Leonard Aguilar (Texas AFL-CIO) / Marcy Goldstein-Gelb (NCOSH)

October 18, 2021

Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Leonard Aguilar rejoined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss vaccination rates in Texas and how Gov. Greg Abbott is pushing back against mandates. He also discussed labor shortage and how unions can take advantage of them.

National Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health Co-executive Director Marcy Goldstein-Gelb was also featured on today’s episode. She spoke about holding employers accountable for committing OSHA violations and creating stricter punishments to ensure infractions are not repeated.

Jeff Stoffer (American Legion) / Rich Fiesta (Alliance for Retired Americans)

Jeff Stoffer (American Legion) / Rich Fiesta (Alliance for Retired Americans)

October 15, 2021

American Legion Director of Media and Communications Jeff Stoffer spoke with the America’s Work Force Union Podcast today about the November edition of The American Legion Magazine. He also previewed some of the stories featured in the upcoming publication.

Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director Rich Fiesta was also a guest on today’s show. He spoke about Medicare drug price negotiation, and legislation aimed at restoring voting protections lost in two Supreme Court decisions over the course of the last decade.

Ron Herrera (Teamsters) / Desiree Hoffman (UAW)

Ron Herrera (Teamsters) / Desiree Hoffman (UAW)

October 14, 2021

International Brotherhood of Teamsters International Vice President of the Western Region Ron Herrera joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss a national truck driver shortage, the negative effects of worker misclassification and cargo backups at ports.

United Auto Workers Legislative Representative Desiree Hoffman was also featured on the podcast today. She spoke about electric vehicle manufacturing, the electric vehicle tax credit and the Build Back Better Act facing some road blocks.

Doreen Cannon (UA Local 55) / Jenny Hunter (Labor lawyer, writer and consultant)

Doreen Cannon (UA Local 55) / Jenny Hunter (Labor lawyer, writer and consultant)

October 13, 2021

Plumbers Local 55 President Doreen Cannon joined AWF Union Podcast today to discuss an upcoming apprenticeship fair in Cleveland, Ohio. She explained the great career opportunities that can be found in the trades, shared her personal path to the trades and how others can get started, and efforts to attract more women into the trades.

Labor lawyer, writer and consultant Jenny Hunter was also featured on today’s episode. She spoke about how she became interested in labor law, Justice Alito’s long standing attacks on public sector unions, and how President Biden can improve the labor community’s standing through the courts.

Frank Mathews (CWA D4) / Colin Sikon (Laborers Local 860)

Frank Mathews (CWA D4) / Colin Sikon (Laborers Local 860)

October 12, 2021

Communications Workers of America District 4 Administrative Director Frank Mathews was the first guest on today’s episode of the AWF Union Podcast. He spoke about bank employees organizing, broadband infrastructure and punishments for companies who retaliate against their employees who are looking to unionize.

Laborers Local 860 (Cleveland) Field Representative Colin Sikon was also featured on today’s episode. He spoke about Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center workers being underpaid and unprotected and how Local 860 is supporting the workers.

Dennis Desmond (LiUNA Local 11) / Russ Jaeger (SMART Local 263)

Dennis Desmond (LiUNA Local 11) / Russ Jaeger (SMART Local 263)

October 11, 2021

LiUNA Local 11 Business Manager Dennis Desmond was the first featured guest on today’s episode of the AWF Union Podcast. He explained how unions create and sustain the middle class, the need to invest in our country’s infrastructure and more.

Also featured on today’s episode was SMART Local 263 Business Manager Russ Jaeger. He discussed the struggles of organizing in a So-Called “Right to Work” state, educating the public about the benefits of unions and apprenticeships and more.

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