Today’s military veterans face one of the toughest job markets in decades, and their unemployment rate is significantly higher than the population at large. But thanks to the Helmets to Hardhats program, which connects veterans with quality career training and employment opportunities within the building and construction industry, many veterans are now on ascending career paths.
A recent Philadelphia Inquirer feature focuses on two U.S. Marine Corps veterans who are putting to work the training and opportunities provided by Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 19 in South Philadelphia.
“I certainly admit going in with an attitude of let’s-see-what-this-is-about,” Johnson & Johnson Vice President Donald Bohn says about cooperating with labor unions. “It turns out we have a lot more in common than you might think.”
And that’s why, about four years ago, Johnson & Johnson joined the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA), a growing coalition of pharmaceutical industry giants and the major building trades unions. Its goal is to foster good jobs in the domestic pharmaceutical industry while increasing access to affordable medicines.
Steve Lehmann used to drive hundreds of miles each week shuttling around paperwork; now he flips back the cover of his iPad.
“Sometimes I’d drive an hour and 45 minutes from the office to the job site, then go back and forth with new blueprints,” Lehmann says. “That’s just a lot of time.”
Lehmann, an ironworker working as a project manager at Bennett Steel Inc. in Sapulpa, Okla., can access updated sets of blueprints or revised drawings on his tablet through a handful of apps—a big change in how paperwork is handled in the construction industry.
The way President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) have set aside partisan politics to “work in singular and cooperative fashion to relieve the pain and suffering of those whose lives have been turned upside down” by Hurricane Sandy should be an example to elected officials everywhere, including members of Congress, says Sean McGarvey, president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD).
President Obama and Governor Christie do not see the victims of this tragedy as 'Democrats' or 'Republicans,' they simply see them as 'Americans' who are in dire need of the assistance and generosity of our government and its people.
Frank Callahan, president of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council, sends us this open letter.
I am sure that many of you share my frustration at trying to sift through campaign commercials and talking points to find out where the candidates for president really stand on issues that are important to you. Part of the problem is Mitt Romney’s habit of changing his positions to suit his audience.
One thing he can’t change is his record. I had a front-row seat for Mitt Romney’s term as governor of Massachusetts. His positions and his actions on the issues that have a direct impact on building and construction trades workers were not good for our members.
The Austin, Texas, worker center Workers Defense Project worker center (WDP) celebrates its 10th anniversary later this month of battling against wage theft, spotlighting the dangers and winning reforms of the Texas construction industry and standing up for workplace justice and immigrants’ rights.
An in-depth article in the current issue of The Austin Chronicle traces the history of the WDP worker center, from its 2003 inception as a one-person staffed operation, helping low-income, mostly immigrant Austin workers pursue wage theft claims, to its present day incarnation as an influential 1,000-member force and partner with the union movement in the championing of workers’ rights, especially in the construction industry, with an estimated 60% Latino workforce.
The Atlanta/North Georgia Building Trades Council and STAND-UP, a nonprofit "Think and Act Tank for working communities" have partnered to create Trade-Up, a pre-apprenticeship program. Trade-Up addresses a critical gap in the regional labor force. Despite the fact that unemployment in Atlanta building trades remains mired in double digits, the aging construction workforce is leading to shortages of workers in specific trades. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that through the remainder of this decade, employment openings will come mainly from the replacement of retiring workers on existing jobs, not from new jobs created by economic growth. Skills linked to apprenticeships and other forms of on-the-job training are expected to be among the fastest-growing categories of employment. Apprenticeships are an efficient way to address the paradoxical imbalance between increasing market demand for specialized trade skills in an environment otherwise plagued by high unemployment and declining labor force participation.
This is a cross-post from Huffington Post's Spanish-language site Voces by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Christian Hurtado’s story shows the potential of the new workers' rights movement. It's a story worth telling this month, days after we celebrated Labor Day and as we prepare to celebrate Latino Heritage Month.
When his father Angel died in a work-related accident in 2004, Christian's life took an unexpected turn. Christian, 29, and his family don’t know the exact details of the accident, which happened while his father, an independent construction worker, was doing work inside a small warehouse in Austin, Texas. Christian’s family was devastated, especially his mom Victoria.
If you’re a football fan, tonight’s the night. The first game of the 2012 National Football League season—between the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys—will kick off at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
There’s plenty of excitement about the football matchup (even with replacement workers subbing as referees), but the construction workers who built the stadium can feel an extra surge of pride in the work they completed two years ago under a project labor agreement (PLA).
Few construction labor leaders have ever thought of Texas as an easy place to organize. The state legislature is controlled by a super majority of Republicans that are sternly anti-immigrant and anti-worker. Construction business interests have a firm grip on the legislature. The biggest Republican donor in the state is Bob Perry, of Perry Homes, one of the largest home builders in Texas. That is why the efforts of unions and community groups to reform the construction industry in the state are so significant.