Transport Workers (TWU) Local 527 provides support services for U.S. troops as they train and learn signal command at the Fort Gordon military base in Augusta, Ga. TWU members do everything from issuing and repairing equipment and vehicles to making sure the well water is safe to drink and the facilities are heating and cooling properly.
In 2012, the Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) and Australia’s Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) entered into a unique affiliation agreement to combat global climate change by sharing industry best practices, particularly around alternate forms of energy generation, such as biofuels and geothermal technology. The affiliation allows for joint skills training and employment initiatives in the United States, Canada and Australia.
In 1973, 21-year-old Barbara Moore became the first woman to enter the apprenticeship program of Bricklayers (BAC) Local 1 of Maryland. A couple of decades later, she served as both president of the former local and as Baltimore chapter chair of BAC Local 1 MD/VA/DC.
Ralph Fasanella spent much of his youth at the side of his Italian immigrant father, as he navigated the streets in his horse-drawn wagon delivering ice to Greenwich Village homes in New York. They would sling a block of ice with tongs, rest it on their leather-sheathed shoulders, stride into the house and place it in the customer’s icebox. Often, they would need to remove all of the contents of the icebox to make room for the block and then neatly stack the refrigerated contents back into the box. He would later say, after he earned national fame as a painter, that the compositional density of his paintings was influenced by this work.
On Columbus Day, dozens of the 160 Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation workers (SMART) training centers opened up their state-of-the-art facilities to the public and introduced politicians, community leaders, architects and prospective students to the apprenticeship programs that teach and shape tomorrow’s sheet metal workers.
Neutex Advanced Energy Group, a Houston-based maker of LED lights, light bulbs and fixtures, brought its core manufacturing operation from China back to the United States last year and turned to the Electrical Workers (IBEW) to staff its facility.
“Being in a union is more than just looking out for us, we have to look out for the communities not only where we work, but where we live,” says Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) General President Kenneth Rigmaiden.
Last fall, IUPAT kicked off a campaign that would donate a dollar for each new “Like” for its foundation’s Facebook page. IUPAT’s foundation, Painters and Allied Trades for Children’s Hope (PATCH), presented a check for $10,000 to United Cerebral Palsy earlier this year.
Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 230 invited elected officials and attendees of Netroots Nation, a conference for progressives and activists, to take part in a basic firefighting class at its training facility in San Jose, Calif. Participants climbed ladders, operated fire hoses and Jaws of Life, performed CPR and navigated through a warren of dark, tight corridors—all while wearing full firefighting gear.
How do we close the inequality gap and restore a potent middle class? The AFL-CIO’s live online discussion yesterday with Robert Reich, former secretary of labor and the Chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, went far beyond the idea of raising taxes on the wealthiest 1%. Worker co-ops, co-determination, reducing student debt, shortening the workweek, campaign finance reform and raising the minimum wage were among the excellent suggestions offered in the seventh in a series of online discussions to help us shape the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention and how the labor movement can meet the needs of working people in the future.
The Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) program in New York City prepares women for careers in construction and related industries through an innovative training and placement program that guides low-income women toward a meaningful career and solid financial footing.