You are here

Feed aggregator

USW, European Workers Address Concerns on Aleris-Novelis Deal

USW Blog - Tue, 11/26/2019 - 13:07
As aluminum producers Novelis and Aleris move closer to a merger, USW members are working closely with their European counterparts to ensure that jobs and workers’ rights are protected on both continents.   Members of Local 9443-01 who work at the Aleris plant in Lewisport, Ky., held two days of meetings with union leaders visiting from Aleris facilities in Germany and Belgium and signed a joint declaration promising further cooperation in the future.   The declaration also called on the company’s new ownership to provide detailed information to workers about its plans for the company, and to ensure that the collective bargaining agreements and working conditions at the plants are protected.   The European Union approved Novelis’ $2.6 billion bid for Aleris earlier this year, with the stipulation that the newly merged company sell off its plant in Belgium to alleviate antitrust concerns.   Local 9443-01 President Chris Geary said members of his local, who make aluminum sheets used in the auto industry, are concerned that U.S. regulators could push the company to do the same with their facility.   “We worry about how this sale could affect the future for the employees,” Geary said.   The U.S. Department of Justice raised its own concerns over competition, filing a lawsuit in September to block the sale. That case has been referred to arbitration with a hearing yet to be scheduled.   The workers’ group sent copies of its joint declaration to executives at the two companies. Click here to read the statement.    “I can’t express enough how valuable this visit was,” Geary said. “Being able to reach out across countries and work together is extremely powerful.”

Solvay Council Members Optimistic About Future Labor Relations

USW Blog - Tue, 11/26/2019 - 12:32

Thirty USW Solvay Council members met Nov. 14-15, 2019 in Tinley Park, Ill., to receive updates on the company’s operations, discuss health and safety issues, share experiences with Solvay’s substance abuse program, and notify council members about new contracts and continuing negotiations. 

“This is one of the most organized and active councils in the chemical sector,” said USW Secretary Treasurer John Shinn. Shinn took over the USW’s chemical group when former International Vice President Carol Landry retired last July.

The USW represents 10 Solvay sites in the U.S., nearly all of which were represented at the meeting. 

New U.S. labor relations manager

Solvay’s new industrial relations officer/labor relations head for North America, Steve Cozzetto, introduced himself at the meeting and expressed his willingness to work with the council and the locals. This was a 180-degree change in labor relations between the USW and Solvay. 

“Steve is willing to talk through issues,” said Jeff Hill, who serves as the North American representative on the Solvay Global Forum. “He’s a breath of fresh air. We should have more cooperation from him.”

Cozzetto said he wants to meet with the company’s U.S. managers and educate them on the Solvay Global Framework Agreement (GFA) and how it applies going forward in working with unions.

The GFA says that Solvay management will be neutral during organizing drives, engage in a social dialogue with employees, adhere to labor and environmental standards, and conduct business in a sustainable manner.

“We need to keep working to put the GFA in place. The more we work together and push toward the GFA principles, the more we will be successful,” Hill said.

Shinn added: “This document enables us to go back and say to management they must treat the USW with respect.”

Cozzetto also attended the meeting to share with the council the company’s reorganization of its global business units. 

Solvay is a multi-specialties company, which sells chemicals that help the performance and processing of the customer’s product. 

Contract talks

After receiving the overall view of Solvay’s finances, restructuring and the effectiveness of the GFA in the U.S., the council members reported on issues and contract talks at their sites.

After five weeks of negotiations this fall, the Local 14200 membership at Solvay’s Marietta, Ohio, plant ratified a four-year agreement last month that included pay raises, a new drug policy and increases in Sunday pay, vision benefits and the shoe allowance. Labor and management negotiators agreed to settle outstanding grievances before going to arbitration. The local also beat back concessionary language in contracting out, overtime, Sunday pay and work rule changes.

Local 7-765-01 at Chicago Heights discussed its negotiations. The local’s contract expired Nov. 17, and bargaining continues with the members working under the existing agreement.

Two newly organized Solvay workers at the company’s Tulsa, Okla., composite materials plant spoke to the council over the phone. They obtained other USW Solvay contracts and are using them for reference in compiling their own proposals for a first contract. Negotiations are expected to begin in January.

One lingering issue at all the Solvay sites is the company’s revised substance abuse program.  Antonia Domingo from the USW’s Legal Department discussed and answered questions about the company’s drug and alcohol policy. Solvay acknowledged that it has an obligation to negotiate over the policy. 

The council also discussed health and safety issues with Tom Duffy of the USW Health, Safety and Environment Department. He proposed that the locals consider joint training with management over resolving their health and safety issues.

At the end of the meeting, Shinn thanked everyone for their participation and lively discussions.

“This has been a productive meeting,” Shinn said to the nods of several council members. “We had good discussions over the issues affecting our sites, and know what we need to do going forward.”

 

 

 

USW Local 90 Builds Power Even in a Right-To-Work-For-Less State

USW Blog - Tue, 11/26/2019 - 12:27

USW Local 90 at Dow Chemical’s Knoxville, Tenn., plant is a case study of what a local union can do to promote diversity and inclusiveness within the workplace, build the union, gain power at the bargaining table, and change the way the local community views labor so organizing a union is acceptable.

Tackling a lack of diversity

“We discovered that from 1994 to 2001, our former employer, Rohm & Haas, only employed three people of color and 11 women,” said Guy Jernigan, retired president of Local 90. 

Hiring did not change much after Dow Chemical bought Rohm & Haas in July 2008 and took over plant operations.

“Out of 47 Dow hires, we’ve only had five black workers and one woman hired,” he said. “When the hiring starts reflecting that we are not inclusive of women and people of color, there is something wrong. Your work force should reflect the diversity of your community.” 

The local represents about 130 hourly workers in the production, lab and mechanical departments. The site makes coatings, water-based polymers and water-based emulsion acrylics. 

In 2018, the local began tackling the lack of work force diversity by meeting with the Knoxville Urban League, Chamber of Commerce and Centro Hispano. 

Dow examined its direct-hire practices and organized an external hiring panel with union participation. This year, the company participated in an Urban League job fair; this historic, nonpartisan civil rights organization advocates on behalf of economic and social justice for African Americans and against racial discrimination in the U.S. 

Mike Bozzone, the current president of Local 90, said the local is still working with the Urban League today to get more people of color hired at the site.

Building the union

When the only non-member in the Local 90 bargaining unit retired in October 2018, local union officers decided to celebrate by coming into the plant on their days off to provide donuts and coffee to members working on four shifts across different areas of the plant.

The process took three to four weeks, but it gave every member the opportunity to get a donut and talk with the leadership. 

“I think it really meant something to members that we did this on our days off,” said Local 90 executive board member David Manning. “In my 25 years, I think that made more of an impact on the membership than anything else we’ve done, and we’ve bought jackets and t-shirts.”

In the management break room, the union leaders left a box of donuts with a sign saying “100% Membership.” 

In September 2019, Local 90 hosted the DowDuPont North American Labor Council (DNALC) meeting, providing a catered reception, lunch every day and a hospitality room each night for members to network with each other. Local 90 invited all of its members to attend the reception and meeting on their days off.

In 2020, the local hopes to do other events to build solidarity and educate the members about the local union and its activities. “It could be handing out more donuts, union t-shirts or maybe having a luncheon,” Bozzone said. “Nothing has been decided yet.”

Gaining power in bargaining

Local 90 began Building Power training in 2018 in advance of their contract expiration on Jan. 29, 2019. For the first time, the local distributed a series of handbills, texts, a contract survey and hard hat stickers. 

They also decided to use the site’s 75th anniversary celebration as an opportunity to showcase their solidarity ahead of negotiations. Members created a USW booth for the celebration, gave away prizes of USW merchandise to current and former members, and conducted a 50-50 raffle that resulted in a $600 collection for the East Tennessee Children’s hospital. 

Members and retirees wore their union shirts to show solidarity, and the local displayed a banner with the words “100% Strong, USW” that the members signed.

With the help of District 9 Director Daniel Flippo, the local printed a 75th anniversary coin. One side of it had the USW District 9 graphic and the words “USW Unity and Strength for Workers District 9.” The other side had a graphic of the chemical plant and the 1982 World’s Fair globe against a mountain backdrop with the words “Local 90 Union Strong 1943-2018.”

“Our members were proud of our local’s presentation,” Bozzone said. “It outshined what the company did.”

He said that labor relations changed for the better in Knoxville as a result of the local’s participation in the 75th anniversary event. In August 2019, Dow invited the Local 90 president to be a member of its Knoxville Community Advisory Panel. The company invites community leaders and officials each month for a luncheon to update them on the site’s affairs. Each quarter Dow hands out a money grant to a local nonprofit.

“Having a seat on the advisory panel is important,” Bozzone said. “It bodes well for our union.”

Dow also decided to include the union when the United Way recognized the company for donations raised. Now, Local 90 has a representative on the Knoxville United Way board. 

“In 2017, we had to fight to be included in the recognition for donations,” Manning said.

All of this positive activity gained the notice of Dow corporate leadership, government officials, community leaders, union officials, and current and former employees and their families. So when it came time to negotiate Local 90’s new agreement with Dow, the local easily obtained a five-year contract with wage increases, paid paternity leave and time for the union to conduct a new hire orientation session. Local 90 members ratified it Jan. 25, 2019.

Reaching out to the community

Besides contributing to the United Way, Local 90 also reaches out to the community by aligning itself with the local Jobs with Justice chapter and other labor, faith and community-based organizations.

“It’s so important now for locals to be active in their communities because that’s what the companies do,” Bozzone said. “Unions need to operate at a different level now and help their communities thrive.”

 

3M Maplewood Local Makes Progress In Contract Talks

USW Blog - Tue, 11/26/2019 - 12:24

Local 11-075 at 3M’s Maplewood, Minn., maintenance facility began negotiations April 15, 2019, in advance of the mid-August expiration of the existing collective bargaining agreement. Despite the early start, the local is still bargaining seven months later.

Local 11-075 President Thomas Heimer remains optimistic that the group could reach a fair agreement soon. He said the two sides have made progress. Talks resumed Nov. 22.

The negotiations impact some 200 USW members who handle maintenance for 3M’s headquarters facility, which consists of about 40 buildings and is growing. These workers are machinists; electricians; systems personnel; heating, ventilation and air conditioning specialists; millwrights; calibration technicians and utility employees.

While the local works under a contract extension, it continues to push back on company proposals such as contract term, sick leave, clocking into work and pay for certain job classifications.

“On day one of bargaining, the company came at us with 100 proposals on the table. We gave them six or seven items. It’s been a long battle, but we’re still bargaining,” Heimer said.

Several weeks ago, the local held an informational meeting to update the membership. Heimer said about 50 members attended and that the meeting went well. He advised that members keep up-to-date on negotiations and contact him via the local’s website at www.uswlocals.org/local1175.

Native American Heritage Month Pathway to Progress: Ojibwe Women Transform Working Life in Minneapolis

AFL-CIO - Tue, 11/26/2019 - 12:12
Native American Heritage Month Pathway to Progress: Ojibwe Women Transform Working Life in Minneapolis Hennepin County Library

History has long been portrayed as a series of "great men" taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history "from the bottom up," studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our series, Pathway to Progress, we'll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we will take a look at a group of Ojibwe women who helped transform the world of work in Minneapolis-St. Paul throughout much of the 20th century.

In the early 1960s, activism among Native American populations was on the rise. The goal of federal "termination" policy was to integrate Native American tribe members into mainstream American culture with a heavy emphasis on assimilation. With little to no help coming from Washington, the struggle for Native American rights shifted to state and local fights. Those smaller fights would culminate in a wave of activism that stopped bad legislation, won legal protections and ended the termination policy. One of the key battlegrounds was Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The Ojibwe people lived in various places throughout the upper Midwest, but the combination of the termination policy, economic troubles and job opportunities opened up by American foreign policy led them to move in large numbers to Minneapolis-St. Paul. The twin cities were established in the Dakota homeland and tribal people from the prairies and northern lake country began moving into Minneapolis-St. Paul in large numbers, leading to the region housing one of the largest Indigenous populations in the U.S.

Ojibwe women generally arrived in the twin cities with families and friends although some came to search for employment on their own. Life in the city was drastically different than life on the reservation and there were intense pressures to reject their cultural ideas about work to fit in with the white population. In order to survive and prosper, they had to develop new ideas about labor, but they wanted to maintain their link to the values of the traditional Ojibwe economy.

Prior to moving to the city, many of the Ojibwe women, such as Gertrude Howard Buckanaga, worked in agriculture, such as blueberry picking or wild rice harvesting. In the early days, Howard Buckanaga and others would work in the city and travel home for the wild rice harvest. Ojibwe women, for the most part, only had high school degrees or a boarding school education. Neither prepared them for working in the city, but they found ways to transition skills they had used in agriculture to work in the city.

The longer they lived in urban areas, Ojibwe women began to attend community meetings, participate in activism and attend college to obtain higher degrees. The earliest work they found were office jobs, in the Indian Service or as teachers at government boarding schools. Those schools began training Ojibwe girls to be nurses, which led to other job opportunities. Outside that, employers often viewed Ojibwe women as only suited for domestic or factory work and discrimination against them was widespread. De facto segregation was the norm in Minneapolis-St. Paul at the time.

Low-paying jobs, discrimination and segregation put up significant road blocks and the Ojibwe women came in at the lowest rung of the economic ladder in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Social services were few and far between and often didn't serve Native Americans. This isolation forced Ojibwe women (and men) to create new patterns of participation in the workforce and other organizations and agencies to fill in where U.S. government services didn't.

One of the most important leaders to emerge from the community was Emily Peake. Peake's family included French, English and Ojibwe ancestry, and she moved to Minneapolis from the White Earth reservation. Peake signed up for the Works Projects Administration, leading her to jobs in the Minneapolis Public Library and making parachutes for Honeywell. After serving in the Women's Coast Guard, she moved back to Minneapolis and began working as a community organizer during the years of the federal termination policy. 

As the Indian population in the Twin Cities grew, Peake worked together with a group of Ojibwe and Dakota sisters and brothers to create the Upper Midwest Indian Center, for which she would serve time as the executive director. The center provided social service programs for Indian workers and their families and would operate solely off of money Peake and her colleagues raised until War on Poverty grants were made available. The community center idea would soon spread to other cities and these centers not only provided social services, but they interwove Indian values and spiritual beliefs. Other community institutions would be created by Indian activists in Minneapolis and elsewhere.

These efforts would not only lead to increased community and more employment, it set the ground for larger activism as well. The Ojibwe and other Indian women active in the Twin Cities are credited as creating the opening for which the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act would be passed. Other legislation followed. Ojibwe women took leadership positions throughout Minneapolis' community life, and they pursued meaningful jobs, cared for family and children, mentored other women, and continued to grow the services that were offered. The Minneapolis American Indian Center, for example, has served more than 14,000 American Indians since it opened in 1975.

Women held the majority of the sustained leadership roles in in the Ojibwe community of Minneapolis and their visionary body of work can still be seen today in schools, Indian centers, academic curricula, social services and legislation. Their work not only increased well-being for the Ojibwe and other Indians in Minneapolis, it was instrumental in leading to greater sovereignty for Indian people across the country.

Women like Peake, Howard Buckanaga, Rose Robinson, Frances Fairbanks, Ona Kingbird, Norby Blake, Pat Bellanger, Vikki Howard and others laid a foundation for the institutions and laws that increased the quality of life for many Indians, not only in politics, but in the economy as well. As Bellanger said, "'Ojibwe women have been strong throughout everything' and 'we have kept our ways,' acknowledging the significance of the women’s work like harvesting wild rice, which 'has always gone through the women.'"

Source: Brenda J. Child, Politically Purposeful Work: Ojibwe Women’s Labor and Leadership in Postwar Minneapolis

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 11/26/2019 - 14:12

Tags: Pathway to Progress

USW Stands with Workers against Discrimination at Tesla

Steelworker News - Tue, 11/26/2019 - 06:52

For Immediate Release: Nov. 26, 2019

More information, contact: Dave Wasiura, (716) 565-1720, dwasiura@usw.org                                       

PITTSBURGH – The United Steelworkers (USW) today expressed support for workers who have spoken out against racial discrimination and harassment at Tesla’s Buffalo, N.Y., production facility.

USW District 4 Director Del Vitale said that the union shares workers’ frustration with Tesla management’s failure to address widespread complaints from employees in Buffalo and elsewhere.

“Companies that spend considerable time, money and effort to convince the automobile-shopping public that their brand represents progress ought to be leading from the front when it comes to providing an environment free of discrimination in any form,” Vitale said. “Considering how Tesla’s positive image helped secure public funding to build its modern, solar-powered Buffalo plant, the USW is dismayed that employees are experiencing racism.”

Vitale urged Tesla to address specific complaints with urgency and adopt a new approach to ensure all workers are treated with dignity and respect moving forward.

“The USW is proud of its vastly diverse membership throughout North America and its ability to negotiate fair contracts in all of the industries and sectors in which they work,” Vitale said. “For generations, union contracts have been the surest and simplest way to prevent workplace discrimination in all forms, and it remains true today.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

###

USW: Chinese Transit Poses National Security Risk

Steelworker News - Mon, 11/25/2019 - 11:44

The United Steelworkers (USW) stands behind the well-researched and documented work of independent investigators as well as its partner organizations regarding the state-influenced and state-supported transit companies from China. 

The USW is the largest manufacturing union in North America and represents workers throughout the supply chain of every major manufactured product in the country. Whether it is an iron ore miner in Minnesota, a steelworker in Indiana, or a worker engaged in the manufacture of vehicle components, the ability to supply the products that go into our transportation infrastructure in an environmentally sound way is vital for the livelihoods of millions of Americans.

For decades, our union has raised alarms about unfair and predatory trade practices by China and many of its companies. Our union has seen both indirect and direct attacks from a foreign government intent on using mercantilist anti-competitive practices to gain an unfair advantage. More than three million U.S. jobs were lost or displaced because of our massive bilateral trade deficit with China alone. Our union has been cyber attacked by this foreign government intent on economic wins at any cost.

As has been highlighted by several well-researched policy reports, including the most recent by Radarlock, an independent research organization, China’s rolling stock companies are closely tied to a communist government that has set policy goals that treat the clean energy vehicle industry – its incubation, development, and global domination – as a top national priority. The close link between the military and private sector in the People’s Republic of China supports a country tipping the scales against U.S. workers and adversely impacting our country’s security.

That is why our union and our labor management partnership, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), has been supportive of the bipartisan Senate language in the National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) modeled after the Transit Infrastructure Vehicle Security Act (TIVSA). This important provision prevents federal transit dollars from being used to award a contract or subcontract for the procurement of passenger rail cars or transit buses to Chinese state-owned, controlled or subsidized enterprises.

Unfortunately, some organizations fail to see the national security threat posed by the dismantling of our country’s transportation infrastructure manufacturing base and have decided to take a cynical and short-term view that the only way to win is to surrender economic dominance to a foreign country that actively opposes democratic unions. This is deeply disappointing and is not a position to which our union subscribes.

It is also unnerving that the Chinese sphere of influence has now reached the point that it is affecting U.S. unions and that Chinese attempts to weaken the solidarity of our labor movement appear to be bearing fruit.

However, our union cannot support U.S. tax dollars being directed to companies such as BYD or CRRC that heavily import Chinese content and skirt the intent of Buy America laws with minimal product transformation, displacing American work while putting our national security at risk.

It’s simple: Our members’ mills and manufacturing plants and the millions of unionized building trade man hours spent maintaining those facilities should not be put at risk to import Chinese state-supported and subsidized rail and bus kits for final assembly. Anyone who does not understand this cannot truthfully say they support U.S. manufacturing or national security.

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector, health care, and service occupations.

USW-backed workplace violence bill passes U.S. House

USW Blog - Mon, 11/25/2019 - 09:40

After a months-long campaign bolstered by United Steelworkers (USW) activists, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309) reached the floor of the U.S. House last Thursday and passed.

The bipartisan-sponsored bill, introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), would direct the Secretary of Labor to issue an occupational safety and health standard that requires health care and social service industry employers to develop and implement comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans.

“Our members mobilized all across the country and across industries to collect more than 80,000 signatures in support of this bill because they know it affects all working people,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “This is how we make progress – by finding common ground and solidarity around issues that impact everyday Americans and making our voices heard.”

Workplace violence is the third-leading cause of death on the job, and health care and social service workers are among the most vulnerable. Since 2012, violence in the industry has increased by 30 percent.

“It is past time for these workers to have the protections they need,” said Conway. “We hope Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does what’s best for them, their patients, and their families by bringing this bill to a vote in the Senate, where we believe it will see the same support as it did in the House.”

Pounding the pavement

USW members pounded the pavement all year collecting postcards for the union’s Safe Jobs Now campaign in support of the bill. And just three weeks ago, hundreds of Steelworker activists descended onto Washington, D.C., for the annual Rapid Response conference where they also marched to the Dept. of Labor to hold a rally and were joined by several legislative leaders, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), before walking the halls of Congress to speak to their representatives about the legislation.

USW Health Care Workers Council Coordinator Tamara Lefcowitz said direct member action played a vital role in raising awareness about this bill and pushing it through the House.

“Our incredible activist base absolutely made a difference,” said Lefcowitz. “And it still can. Members can call their senators and encourage them to push Mitch McConnell to do what’s right and bring this bill to the floor for a vote.”

A group of USW activists was in Washington last Thursday to watch the historic vote take place, including DeJonae Shaw, a nurse and member of Local 7600 in District 12.

“This is a win for all of us who selflessly serve as caretakers across this nation,” said Shaw. “To every legislator that listened to our stories and who took the time to vote in solidarity with us—thank you.”

Red for Ed: In the States Roundup

AFL-CIO - Fri, 11/22/2019 - 07:56
Red for Ed: In the States Roundup AFL-CIO

It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter.

Alaska AFL-CIO:

0-3, @GovDunleavy.#akleg #akgov

Read more here —> https://t.co/4p4mZKBHaM pic.twitter.com/WuUDvVjr84

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) November 8, 2019

Arizona AFL-CIO:

We’re spending Veteran’s Day on the #ASARCOStrikeLine @UNITEHERE11 @UFCW99 @USWLocal937 @ibtlu104 #IUOE428 pic.twitter.com/FNuTIoGC94

— Arizona AFL-CIO (@ArizonaAFLCIO) November 11, 2019

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

We love it when Union members run for public office! Brother Matthew Stallings is running for State House District 38. Check out his new… https://t.co/36BkVRXxRM

— Arkansas AFL-CIO (@ArkansasAFLCIO) November 7, 2019

California Labor Federation:

*NEW* Report from @UCBLaborCenter --> California’s Steps to Expand Health Coverage and Improve Affordability: Who Gains and Who Will Be Uninsured? https://t.co/8zW35WivMu

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) November 19, 2019

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

We were saddened to learn that Mel Olsson, former President of @UAW Local 571, passed away earlier this week. Even after he retired, he continued to fight every day for working people in Connecticut. You will be missed, brother. @UAWRegion9A https://t.co/f23kmZl1wN pic.twitter.com/jSnHdgstkg

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) November 15, 2019

Florida AFL-CIO:

Last week, over a hundred new Union members were elected to public office. This website shows you what union members are currently serving and how you can get involved in helping elect more members of Organized Labor to represent working people.https://t.co/0p30RiAmbC

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) November 15, 2019

Georgia AFL-CIO:

Today we also met UAW retiree George, who’s 94 years old, who started working in 1947, when the plant first opened, and retired in 1987. #1u pic.twitter.com/NBSzBRRgM2

— AFL-CIO Georgia (@AFLCIOGeorgia) November 19, 2019

Idaho AFL-CIO:

I just added my name to stand with @The_AFM musicians! #1u #BandTogether Add your name and write one here: https://t.co/HhC6lOvenn

— Idaho State AFL-CIO (@IdahoAFLCIO) November 19, 2019

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Thousands of teachers are at the Indiana Statehouse!

They’re joining together to demand the public schools our students deserve. #RedForEd pic.twitter.com/liCXdwxBb5

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) November 19, 2019

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Inside IBEW’s Efforts To Help Hotel Workers Unionize In Dubuque https://t.co/XUDGk4KavF pic.twitter.com/rRwerRICe2

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) November 19, 2019

Kentucky State AFL-CIO:

“Hoover emphasized a concern that several legislators of both parties have about the bill — that it will likely diminish the retirement... https://t.co/sGobvVaB40

— Kentucky AFL-CIO (@aflcioky) May 7, 2019

Maine AFL-CIO:

Congrats to the operating technicians at @WABI_TV5 on their new contract! https://t.co/QgGvGZfb6H #mepolitics

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) November 19, 2019

Metro Washington (D.C.) Council AFL-CIO:

‘MD/DC AFL-CIO president Donna Edwards: "We are at one moment in time"’ on #SoundCloud #np https://t.co/0auguUHwuM

— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) November 18, 2019

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Hennepin County’s first labor-trafficking case ends in guilty plea https://t.co/O3NvJSPr9J Welcome news for workers. #1u

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) November 19, 2019

Missouri AFL-CIO:

A more cooperative relationship between workers and management would result in a more sustainable system for supporting the middle class. https://t.co/oR7dzver4x

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) November 17, 2019

Montana AFL-CIO:

Mary Munger was a nurse by trade and an activist by calling. Her advocacy gave nurses in Montana the right to collectively bargain and improved working conditions for the profession statewide. She will be missed. https://t.co/fJ1naQiZBC

— Montana AFL-CIO (@MTaflcio) November 18, 2019

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

From Pres. Glenn Brackett: Congratulations on a successful Election Day! video at https://t.co/CxERWrlKfN

— NewHampshire AFL-CIO (@NHAFLCIO) November 7, 2019

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

Wow! So surprising that fair wages don’t kill businesses!

Time for the excuses to stop, and #FightFor15 @INAFLCIO @AFLCIO https://t.co/J9PIA2M1qY

— NMFL (@NMFLaflcio) November 14, 2019

New York State AFL-CIO:

The #UnionStrong podcast Episode 23: The @wrkingTheater explores how plays about bus drivers and baristas, postal workers and police officers help amplify the voice of workers in NYC @IBEWLocal3 @DC37 @32BJ Episode 23: The Working Theater https://t.co/JefNpn3ik5

— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) November 13, 2019

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

The GOP’s latest gerrymander ought to be the last straw for NC https://t.co/oMIum4Q1S8 #ncpol via @ncpolicywatch #ncpol #fairmaps

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) November 19, 2019

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

#LegacyFund #UniversalSchoolLunch @NBCNightlyNews @LesterHoltNBC https://t.co/YF2NQ3HRh4

— North Dakota AFL-CIO (@NDAFLCIO) November 17, 2019

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Take time to enjoy the huge win for working people! https://t.co/jlDLOUp5OS pic.twitter.com/6ONxuaahwU

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) November 18, 2019

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Great turnout for the OK Building and Construction Trades Apprenticeship open house! pic.twitter.com/4T8Gv9gDWZ

— Oklahoma AFL-CIO (@OK_AFL_CIO) November 15, 2019

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Oregon AFL-CIO President Graham Trainor writes in the NW Labor Press about the importance of recognizing graduate employees’ work and why grads at universities around the state are fighting for a fair contract. #1u #UnionStrong https://t.co/GV0icFeaRB

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) November 19, 2019

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Equal Pay is a central foundation of workers’ rights and we are proud to be joined by @RepSims and his legislation to support equal pay! pic.twitter.com/Ju8izeaHRD

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) November 19, 2019

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

#1U #Apprenticeship #apprenticeships #apprentices #Labor https://t.co/m9P8Rw11sS

— Rhode Island AFL-CIO (@riaflcio) November 19, 2019

Texas AFL-CIO:

.@UAW sister Pauline sharing her story and how her union organized during the #UAWStrike in Dallas @AFLCIO @TexasAFLCIO #1u pic.twitter.com/qbkPMlC0Ez

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) November 16, 2019

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Virginia Democrats could repeal right-to-work. It shows how America is changing. - The Washington Post https://t.co/EvdddLhHVN

— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) November 19, 2019

Washington State Labor Council:

"(This) is an egregious attack on one state’s employment law and states’ rights generally." https://t.co/OO9CWftV50

— WA State AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) November 11, 2019

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

“W/1 of the biggest organizing victories since WV became a RTW state, nurses are sending a resounding message to working people across WV that forming a Union is the best way to shift the balance of power away from corporations & toward the people.” #wvpol https://t.co/vyertUROO4

— West Virginia AFLCIO (@WestVirginiaAFL) November 14, 2019

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

What to know about the legal fight over who should be on Wisconsin's voter rolls, https://t.co/w2KlEGf7g6

— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) November 19, 2019 Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 11/22/2019 - 09:56

USW-backed Workplace Violence Bill Passes U.S. House

Steelworker News - Thu, 11/21/2019 - 12:54

CONTACT: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-562-2446

After a months-long campaign bolstered by United Steelworkers (USW) activists, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309) reached the floor of the U.S. House today and passed 251-158.

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), would direct the Secretary of Labor to issue an occupational safety and health standard that requires health care and social service industry employers to develop and implement comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans.

“Our members mobilized all across the country and across industries to collect more than 80,000 signatures in support of this bill because they know it affects all working people,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “This is how we make progress – by finding common ground and solidarity around issues that impact everyday Americans and making our voices heard.”

Three weeks ago, hundreds of Steelworker activists descended onto Capitol Hill for a legislative conference where they also marched to the Department of Labor to hold a rally in support of the bill. They were joined by several legislative leaders, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), before walking the halls of Congress to speak to their representatives about the legislation.

Workplace violence is the third-leading cause of death on the job, and health care and social service workers are among the most vulnerable. Women are disproportionately affected, with two out of every three serious workplace violence events suffered by women.

“It is past time for these workers to have the protections they need,” said Conway. “We hope Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does what’s best for them, their patients, and their families by bringing this bill to a vote in the Senate, where we believe it will see the same support as it did in the House.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector, health care, and service occupations.

Colombian Workers Launch General Strike

AFL-CIO - Wed, 11/20/2019 - 09:23
Colombian Workers Launch General Strike AFL-CIO

Colombia's workers, students, and rural, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities will join together in a national general strike tomorrow, Nov. 21. Unlike the strikes many of America's workers have participated in increasingly in the past five years, Colombians are not striking against any single employer or industry.

Since the Colombian labor movement convened the strike some seven weeks ago, this broad alliance of social justice organizations have come together to express their belief that the government of President Iván Duque is taking the country in the wrong direction: suggesting reforms that would reduce even further workers' access to decent work, labor rights and social security, increasing repression and violence against the most vulnerable Colombians and refusing to move forward with the peace process negotiated three years ago. Along with other human rights and social justice organizations based in the United States, the AFL-CIO and some affiliates are sharing with Congress a joint letter of support for this strike and the right to strike and protest as fundamental to building and sustaining democracy. 

Unfortunately, some elected leaders, right-wing parties and Colombia's former president Álvaro Uribe and his supporters have described the strike as illegal and unpatriotic. Even worse, the government has conducted raids into the homes and offices of groups organizing the strike and militarized many likely sites of citizen mobilization. Given Colombia's history of violent repression of legal and peaceful protest, the international community has expressed deep concern about Colombia's capacity and will to protect and respect the rights of its citizens exercising those rights and commitment to the peace process.

We stand with Colombian workers, their unions and their communities in demanding respect for fundamental human rights before, during and after the national strike.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 11/20/2019 - 11:23

Tags: Colombia

USW Drops Lawsuit Opposing Sale of Keystone Cement Plant

Steelworker News - Wed, 11/20/2019 - 08:18

Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, rhufnagel@usw.org, 412-562-2450

The United Steelworkers (USW) union has dropped its opposition to the proposed $151 million sale of Keystone Cement’s Bath Plant in Northampton County, Pa., to Lehigh Hanson Inc. and issued the following statement:

“Last week, the USW filed a lawsuit regarding the sale of Keystone’s facility, and the union has now filed to dismiss it. The Steelworkers and Lehigh Hanson have been involved in a good-faith effort to resolve their differences, therefore rendering the lawsuit unnecessary.

“The Steelworkers and Lehigh Hanson have a longstanding, positive bargaining relationship, and the USW believes that Lehigh Hanson’s potential acquisition of the Keystone Cement facilities in Bath, Pa., will be in the best interests of the nearly 100 USW-represented employees who work there.

“If Lehigh Hanson purchases the Keystone facility, the USW looks forward to working with the company in the future and expects to continue to build a positive, constructive relationship.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.

Proterra Workers to Join USW

Steelworker News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:25

CONTACT: Jess Kamm, (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org

The United Steelworkers (USW) announced today that it is proud to welcome into the union more than 60 Proterra employees in the city of Industry, Calif., where they manufacture battery electric buses.

After an overwhelming majority of workers requested representation, Proterra management voluntarily recognized the union on Nov. 12.

USW International President Thomas M. Conway congratulated the union’s newest members and praised Proterra management for its conduct throughout the organizing process.

“In Proterra, we have a dedicated, highly skilled, productive work force, an American company committed to manufacturing in the United States and management that respects employees,” Conway said. “This is a winning combination not only for this company and these workers, but for our country as a whole as we look at the kinds of jobs we want to have in the future.

“U.S. manufacturing and manufacturing workers are vital to the innovation and economic future of this country. It’s important that we capitalize on the technological advancements and strengths of American companies to seize the tremendous momentum happening in the domestic electric vehicle sector and promote American leadership in this next transportation revolution.”

Conway said that it is imperative that the development and production of clean technology promote good jobs and healthy communities in the United States. This includes ensuring that the materials and components in the transportation supply chain are made in America and that the workers who make them earn fair wages and good benefits.

“There is an unprecedented opportunity to solve some of the greatest challenges facing us today while creating and preserving quality American manufacturing jobs,” said Proterra CEO Ryan Popple. “Proterra and the United Steelworkers share a common vision to support American workers while building a healthier and more resilient future for all, and we look forward to a strong partnership.”

“We are building a positive, cooperative relationship with Proterra and look forward to meeting the challenges ahead with management,” Conway said. “We have every reason for optimism and expect the company, its employees and community stakeholders to enjoy the benefits of its long-term, sustainable success.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission electric transit vehicles and EV technology solutions for commercial applications. Designed for durability, safety and energy efficiency, Proterra products are proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in America.


Work Doesn't Hurt: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

AFL-CIO - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 07:55
Work Doesn't Hurt: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

In addition to the AFL-CIO's own "State of the Unions," there are a lot of other podcasts out there that have their own approach to discussing labor issues and the rights of working people. Here are the latest podcasts from across the labor movement in the United States.

AFT in Action: "In the first of three episodes addressing workplace violence, our state federation president teams up with the head of the Connecticut AFL-CIO to introduce the topic to union members. Together, Jan Hochadel and Sal Luciano help lay the groundwork for the future discussions, which will focus on efforts to prevent assaults on health care professionals and public school educators.Their guest for this episode is Connecticut Council on Occupational Safety and Health (ConnectiCOSH) Co-Chair Steve Schrag, who has for decades advocated for better workplace and community conditions. He provides important history and offers valuable context, as well as insightful answers to members' questions about previous and ongoing efforts to ensure that 'work doesn't hurt.'"

Building Bridges: The Making of a Democratic Economy, Part 2: "Ted Howard, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, and Marjorie Kelly, author of 'The Divine Right of Capital' and 'Owning Our Future,' have teamed up to co-author 'The Making of a Democratic Economy,' a clarion call for a movement ready to get serious about transforming our economic system."

Heartland Labor Forum: Medicare for All: "We’ll do a primer on Medicare for All. We’ll ask Dr. Anand Bhat how it would work, whether taxes will go up, if there are hidden costs and, if, as a number of candidates for president say, employer-paid health insurance is better, and if we have it, we shouldn’t give it up. Thursday at 6 p.m., rebroadcast Friday at 5 a.m. on KKFI 90.1 FM or streaming."

LABOR LIVE@5: Joe Uehlein and the U-Liners: "First Tuesdays, 5 p.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM. Part of Union City Radio in D.C. Classic labor songs and U-Liner originals, plus Joe talks with Chris about the role of music in the movement and hope for the future."

Labor History Today: Precarious Work in the Movies: "Tom Zaniello talks with Sherry Linkon about his next book, an exploration of media accounts of precarious work, ranging from Edward R. Murrow's famous 1960 documentary 'Harvest of Shame' to the storytelling of modern video games. Kalmanovitz Associate Director Lane Windham on 'The Uprising of the 20,000' in 1909. October was LGBTQ History Month and for this week’s Cool Things from the Meany Archive, Chloe Danyo digs into the archive’s Pride At Work collection and comes up with a historic pamphlet on organizing for lesbian and gay rights in unions."

UCOMM Live: Trump Gets Booed, a Sign of Things to Come?: "AFGE's president is taking a leave of absence after accusations of sexual harassment. Should we cover stories like this? Some say yes, some no, we discuss. Trump is getting booed everywhere he goes, and unemployment is up in important swing states. Chance the Rapper is now the Chicago Teachers favorite after his appearance on SNL. The UAW's president is forced out after leaders listened to last week's show. Elizabeth Warren's education plan is a game changer and the Mets hire Carlos Beltran. Listen to UCOMM Live Thursday's at 4 on Facebook,Twitter and YouTube or anytime on UCOMMLive.com."

Union City Radio: Bus Driver Strike, Virginia Election Wins and More: "Weekdays at 7:15 a.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM. Flexing labor's muscle: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan; 'Shut it down!' say striking bus drivers; Transdev cuts health insurance for strikers, walks away from table; labor gets out the vote on Election Day; AFSCME demands safe staffing in Maryland."

Union Strong: Keeping New York Moving: "TWU Local 100 is in a contract fight with the MTA. We cover everything from the Trash Train competition to the trash email that went public, all on the day of a massive rally taking place tonight in NYC."

Willamette Wake-Up: Vincent Blanco: "Our KMUZ labor radio segment this month will feature an especially inspiring interview with Vincent Blanco Jr. of Oregon's American Federation of Teachers. Brother Blanco will be talking about workers in the Portland Community College system and their fight for union contracts, universal health care, some basics of union organizing and social justice, his union's response to the Janus decision and the PERS crisis and much more. This really is a great conversation, so please tune in on Friday, Nov. 22, at around 8:10 a.m. PST on KMUZ. The station is at 88.5, 100.7."

Your Rights at Work: Virginia Elections, Union Veterans Council, Union Plus and More: David Stephen, new political director at the Metropolitan Washington Council; Doris Crouse-Mays (Virginia AFL-CIO president): Labor helps flip Virginia to blue; labor's agenda in 2020; William Attig (executive director, Union Veterans Council): Veterans on the Rise mission on Veterans Day; Jill Cashen (vice president at Union Plus): expert legal help; David Schloss (Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis): Case closed. Thursdays 1-2 p.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/18/2019 - 09:55

Tags: Podcast

Time to Put on the Pressure, Steelworkers!

USW Blog - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 10:39

Two weeks ago, over 650 Steelworkers took to the streets in Washington, D.C. at our Rapid Response, Legislative, and Policy Conference, sending a strong message to Congress and the Department of Labor: we want Safe Jobs Now for our health care and social service workers.

While we rallied in front of the Department of Labor, a group of our impacted health care members met with representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and delivered tens of thousands of postcards from our recent national action to urge passage of H.R. 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. This bill would direct OSHA to ensure their workplaces develop and implement violence prevention plans.

Our members also delivered postcards to Senate offices and held conversations with over 200 House offices, driving home our message that safety on the job is a priority for every worker.

Our message is being heard. A vote in the House is expected this week. We need to keep the pressure on by telling our Representatives their support is both essential and expected.

Make a Quick Call! 

Action Instructions:

  • Dial our toll-free number to the U.S. House:
    866-202-5409. You will be automatically routed to your Representative.
  • Tell the office who you are and where you are from.
  • Tell them to protect our healthcare and social service workers by supporting H.R. 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act.

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Serving Those Who Served

AFL-CIO - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 11:35
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Serving Those Who Served

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene Collier and Tim Schlittner talk with Union Veterans Council Executive Director Will Attig about his work connecting the labor movement and the veterans community.

Listen to our previous episodes:

  • A conversation with union member and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.) about strikes, trade, health care, LGBTQ equality and the freedom to form a union. 
  • A chat with Maine Senate President Troy Jackson (IUPAT, IAM) about his path to power and the experiences that have shaped his life and career.
  • Talking to Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) about worker power, automation, trade and his decision to stay in the U.S. Senate. 
  • Checking in with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about the UAW strike at General Motors and interviewing Veena Dubal, an associate law professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, whose work helped pave the way for passage of A.B. 5, the landmark pro-worker legislation in California.
  • SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris discussing the future of work, sexual harassment and her journey from young actor to labor leader. 
  • North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Chief of Staff Mike Monroe exploring the Department of Labor proposal that would undermine world-class apprenticeships in the construction industry.

State of the Unions” is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you can find podcasts.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 11/13/2019 - 13:35

Tags: Union Veterans Council, Podcast

USW Mourns Passing of District 12 Director Robert LaVenture

Steelworker News - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 09:00

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 13, 2019

CONTACT: Jess Kamm Broomell (412) 562-2444, jkamm@usw.org 

PITTSBURGHUSW International President Tom Conway issued the following statement on the passing of USW District 12 Director Robert LaVenture:

 “It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that District 12 Director Robert LaVenture passed away today.

 “Bob was a tireless union activist who always fought on the side of working people, first in his home state of Wisconsin and later on behalf of our members in District 12.

 “Bob joined the labor movement in 1970 when he went to work at an International Harvester – now Navistar – foundry in Waukesha, Wis., as a member of Local 3740. He served many roles, including trustee, local union steward, vice president and president.

 “As local president, Bob helped develop the Navistar Education Center, the first employee education center in Wisconsin. He then went on to help develop other education centers as a state AFL-CIO coordinator.

 “Bob moved to Concord, Calif., in 1993 and then to Oklahoma in 1998 as a USW International staff rep. He became District 12 Director in 2009.

 “As director, Bob was a fierce advocate for American industry and jobs, chairing contract negotiations with EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel, Kaiser Aluminum, ASARCO, and Kennecott Utah Copper, as well as heading the USW Cement Council.

 “He was also profoundly dedicated to cross-border solidarity, working closely with our union brothers and sisters at Los Mineros in Mexico, fighting so that all workers could have a better life. 

 “Bob was a good friend who touched many lives. He will be sorely missed.”


The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service and public sectors and higher education. USW District 12 encompasses the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

USW Participates in Global Packaging Conference

USW Blog - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 08:08

The USW joined union members from across the world in October for the UNI Global Union’s Graphical and Packaging Sector Conference.

The group, which included members from more than 40 countries, met from Oct. 22 to 24 in Toledo, Spain, to address a number of issues and their effects on the packaging industry, including Brexit, and to discuss campaigns at multinational corporations such as WestRock and Kimberly-Clark.

The conference also held elections and welcomed several new board members, including the USW’s Luis Mendoza, who will represent North America.

The USW is a member of several global union coalitions, including UNI and IndustriALL, and works collectively with both groups to represent workers, set standards and organize campaigns around the globe. UNI represents more than 20 million workers from 150 countries.

Mendoza, who in January will become chair of the union’s paper sector bargaining, provided the conference with an update on the WestRock global network, established last year after the company made several acquisitions.

Lieutenant colonel says nurses can save veteran patients’ lives with one simple question

USW Blog - Wed, 11/13/2019 - 05:43

The U.S. veteran population was roughly 20 million strong in 2016, the last year data was collected. One of the many common threads among those millions, aside from their shared military service, is their need for quality, compassionate health care.

And sometimes the smallest actions can make the biggest difference.

According to Jennifer A. Korkosz, Lt. Col. (Ret.), U.S. Air Force, one of the most important questions nurses and other health care professionals can ask their patients is, “Have you ever served in the military?”

This simple question helps provide vital insight for optimally caring for one’s patients and is so important that the American Academy of Nursing built an entire initiative around it that focuses on improving the health of veterans.

Among the unique areas of concern for many veterans, according to that initiative, are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma, brain injuries, and exposure to radiation, nuclear weapons, Agent Orange, and more. Veterans also are at much higher risk than the general population for suicide—while veterans make up 14 percent of all U.S. suicides, they make up only 8 percent of the country’s population.

To help stem the tide of suicide and provide overall proper care, nurses and other providers can do their part by knowing the resources in their communities that can help veterans, as well as by establishing empathy and building trust with veterans in their communities.

“Feeling appreciated and acknowledged is a great way to help build rapport,” Korkosz said.

The USW recognized the unique needs of veteran workers on the job and recently established Veterans of Steel, a resource for members who have served or are serving in the military to find camaraderie, support, and a way to fight for core issues that affect them and their families.

Part of this work involved the formation of the Veterans of Steel Council, which includes several dozen USW members and staff who served in the armed forces in the United States and Canada. They held their first meeting in October under the leadership of International President Tom Conway, who served as a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force before he began his union career.

The group spent the day brainstorming and setting goals for moving their activism forward, including engaging veterans in the union and community, educating and advocating for veterans’ issues in both countries, and providing a variety of resources for Steelworker vets and their families, including assistance with PTSD.

Veterans who are interested in participating in the program can sign up here to get more information and receive a free Veterans of Steel sticker. Members can also text VET to 47486.

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Nurses United

AFL-CIO - Tue, 11/12/2019 - 10:20
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Nurses United AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is National Nurses United.

Name of Union: National Nurses United (NNU)

Mission: To win workplace and health care justice here in the United States and globally by building the nation’s most powerful union of direct-care registered nurses and by fostering a social movement of nurses allied with the patient public. To achieve these goals, NNU aims to unionize all direct-care registered nurses (RNs) in the United States; promote effective collective bargaining representation to all NNU affiliates to advance the economic and professional interests of all direct-care RNs; organize that collective power to compel the health care industry, governments and employers to be accountable to patients and not solely profits; expand the voice of direct-care RNs and patients in public policy, including the enactment of safe nurse-to-patient ratios and patient advocacy rights in Congress and every state; protect and advance the practice of nursing so that RNs can fully exercise their professional judgment to provide safe, effective, therapeutic care; and campaign to win health care as a human right through a Medicare for All system.

Current Leadership of Union: Bonnie CastilloRN, serves as executive director of NNU, as well as executive director of NNU’s largest founding affiliate, California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC). Before being named executive director, Castillo held multiple leadership roles over two decades within the two organizations, including director of the Health and Safety program, director of the Registered Nurse Response Network, an NNU-sponsored program that sends RN volunteers to provide medical assistance after disasters and catastrophes, and director of government relations for CNA/NNOC—among other positions. An intensive care unit nurse for many years, Castillo played a key role in helping unionize her own hospital and naturally transitioned into organizing and representing registered nurses on a larger scale.

NNU is also ultimately governed by an elected, 19-member RN executive council headed by a Council of Presidents consisting of nurses Deborah Burger, Zenei Cortez and Jean Ross.

Number of Members: 150,000

Members Work As: Primarily direct-care registered nurses, but some affiliates also represent ancillary hospital workers.

Industries Represented: Public and private medical institutions, including some Veterans Health Administration facilities.

History: With more than 150,000 members across the country, NNU stands as the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history.

National Nurses United was founded in December 2009 to create an organization to build a powerful, national movement of direct-care registered nurses. NNU unified three of the most active progressive nursing organizations. The vision resulting from the founding convention focused on advancing the interests of direct-care nurses and patients, and winning health care justice for all.

Over the past decade, NNU and its affiliates have achieved significant success. In addition to those states represented by its founding affiliates, NNU members now include thousands of registered nurses in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, Texas, Missouri, North Dakota and Arizona—many from states traditionally considered hostile to union organizing. NNU has organized tens of thousands of non-union nurses, making it one of the most successful organizing unions in America. NNU RN members also focus on negotiating strong collective bargaining agreements that set the highest workplace, practice and economic standards for their states as well as the entire country. In the legislative arena, NNU has sponsored major federal legislation, including national safe RN-to-patient staffing ratios, a bill to improve and expand Medicare for All in the United States, and stronger protections against workplace violence.

Current Campaigns: NNU currently has numerous active campaigns, including: unionizing nurses all across the country,  RN-to-patent ratios, preventing workplace violence, Medicare for All, health and safety and environmental justice.

Community Efforts: NNU nurses believe that allying with our patients and the public is key to winning our goal of health care justice. To that end, many of our campaigns include working in coalition with local communities. On a national and global scale, an NNU project, the Registered Nurse Response Network, sends registered nurse volunteers to disaster-stricken areas to provide assistance and emergency care. Nurses have helped victims of floods, earthquakes and fires within the continental United States, as well as Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Haiti, the Philippines and Guatemala.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookYouTubeInstagramTwitter

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 11/12/2019 - 12:20

Pages

Copyright © 1999 - 2014 | United Steelworkers Local 351L | Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401 | P: 205.758.4476 F: 205.758.4479