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What is Union Summer?

Union Summer is an educational internship in which participants are introduced to the labor movement through union organizing campaigns. It begins with a weeklong orientation and training in mid-June. After the orientation, interns will work in teams on union organizing campaigns across the country. Interns will play an important role in helping build support for workers trying to gain a voice in their workplaces and in their communities.

Union Summer intern work could include (but not limited to):


Recent Union Summer Activities

This summer, 49 young activists from around the country participated in the 2014 AFL-CIO Union Summer. For ten weeks, interns worked on campaigns across the country, helping to organize thousands of migrant tobacco workers in North Carolina, teachers and other education professionals in Houston, car wash workers in Los Angeles and New York City, retail workers in New York City and taxi drivers in the Washington, D.C. area. 

View photos and videos from and about the 2014 Union Summer interns.

Internship Requirements

Union Summer interns MUST be dedicated to social and economic justice and have a specific desire to learn about the labor movement. It is NOT necessary to have union experience or knowledge of the labor movement to be accepted as a Union Summer intern, but such a background is a plus in the application process.

Union Summer interns must be:

  • Flexible and willing to work long hours, including nights and weekends, on an unpredictable schedule dependent on the needs of the campaign,
  • Adaptable in the face of new challenges and experiences,
  • Able to work in teams and have excellent communications skills,
  • Open to working with people of different races, ethnic backgrounds, religions and sexual orientations, and
  • Willing to immerse themselves in an intensive, learning-by-doing experience.

A sense of humor is also a definite asset.

Related AFL-CIO Now Blog Posts

Related Blog Posts


Check back soon for application materials and more information about Union Summer 2015.

Interns will receive a stipend of $350 per week, minus taxes. Union Summer does not provide a housing allowance. Accepted applicants MUST have housing in cities where Union Summer sites have been designated.

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