Union Strong - New York State AFL-CIO

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Workers in America favor unions and tens of millions of Americans want to join one. So, what is stopping them? Our labor laws are outdated. On this podcast we take a deep dive into a generational opportunity that is on our doorstep; passing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, also known as the PRO Act. New York State AFL-CIO Chief of Staff Ryan Delgado joins the podcast to explain what the PRO Act is, why it is so important to working people and the opportunity to get it passed.
The longest serving president of the Western New York Area Labor Federation decides it is time to step aside. On this podcast, a conversation with Richard Lipsitz who spent nearly five decades fighting for the working class. Richard reflects on labor’s past and looks ahead to the many challenges and opportunities for the labor movement's future. 
The New York State AFL-CIO recently held a labor revenue forum to discuss the impact of the pandemic and the vital need for new revenue sources. On this podcast, Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness lays out the backdrop of what we are facing during this pandemic and explains how New York can raise needed revenue and restore fairness in the tax code. Then union members and leaders from across the state from all different lines of work share what they have endured during the COVID crisis and why adequate state funding is so important.
In New York City, the music industry supports nearly 60,000 jobs and accounts for roughly $5 billion in wages with an economic impact of $21 billion.  Today, the industry is in crisis. The lives of performing artists have been upended by the COVID pandemic. When the arts industry was quickly shut down it led to mass unemployment. And it is an industry that is expected to be among the last to reopen. On this podcast  Adam Krauthamer, president of Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians warns of a great cultural depression, and what the industry needs to survive. Here’s how you can help:  https://www.savenycmusicians.com/ https://nysaflcio.org/news/lets-all-support-our-entertainment-industry
As we continue to work our way through one of the most challenging health and economic crises in our nation’s history, New York State is facing a multibillion-dollar budget deficit at a time when more and more New Yorkers are relying on vital public services. The need for adequate state funding could not be more glaring. One way to address the budget deficit is by legalizing adult-use cannabis. It will not only generate much needed revenue, but it will also create good jobs and address social, racial, and economic equity. On this podcast our guests are Nikki Kateman, the Political and Communications Director at Local 338 of the RWDSU/UFCW and Tim McNutt, a former prosecutor who is now the Director of Criminal Justice and Employment Initiative at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.  
Learning from a diverse group of union leaders from all different sectors of the Labor Movement is powerful and rewarding. It is part of what takes place at the New York State AFL-CIO/Cornell Union Leadership Institute (ULI). On this podcast, DC 37 Director of Field Operations Barbara Terrelonge talks about her own experience going through the ULI program including memorable car rides that made all the difference. And NYS AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Terry Melvin announces a new union scholarship the state federation is offering for prospective union leaders to ULI. Scholarship information at nysaflcio.org/lead  
It has been described as Norma Rae meets Hamilton - a union movie about a union story with a love story woven throughout. Stand! Is the number one Canadian movie musical that is now available in U. S. theaters, virtually. On this podcast the film producer, Danny Schur talks about the valuable lessons from the film and how relatable it is to what is happening here in the U.S. today.
On this podcast our guest is Mike Neidl, Legislative Director at the NYS AFL-CIO. Mike will go over labor’s 2021 legislative agenda which was unanimously passed by the New York State AFL-CIO Executive Board earlier this month. The agenda focuses on lifting up working people by putting in place protections for essential workers and providing support for all workers who continue to suffer as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Labor’s priorities also include revenue raisers to address the budget deficit and a plan to ensure gig economy workers have the same basic rights and protections as all other workers.
There is a new president of the union that represents New York State Police Investigators. On this podcast, Tim Dymond talks about changes and challenges ahead for law enforcement and what he wants people to know about the investigators he represents. 
Nurses represented by the New York State Nurses Association have authorized a one-day strike after rejecting a contract offer from Albany Medical Center Hospital. On this podcast we take you outside the hospital where nurses and supporters have gathered to talk about working conditions in the hospital and to explain why nurses have been pushed to the point of walking out during one of the worst pandemics of our time.  Take action -> https://nysna.salsalabs.org/respectalbanymednurses/index.html or call Dennis McKenna and tell him to negotiate a fair contract (518-262-3830)
The voters have spoken – Democracy is prevailing. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are already moving our country forward with plans to beat COVID-19, and get our economy back on track by putting working people first.   On this podcast New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento breaks down what the Biden Presidency means for working people and what it will mean for New York State.
Airline industry workers, like so many others during this unprecedented health and economic crisis, are teetering on the edge.  Thousands of airline workers have already received furlough notices, thousands more are wondering if they will be next – and their future lies in the hands of our federal government still unable or unwilling to agree on desperately needed funding to save jobs and support the aviation industry. In the middle of this crisis, a rogue labor group is attempting to divide union members by raiding the unions that represent mechanics at American Airlines. On this podcast we talk to the TWU International President John Samuelsen and TWU International Vice President Gary Peterson on what is at stake and why it is happening now.
With just weeks to go before the general election, we hear from a labor activist who also ran her own successful political campaign on the importance of getting out the vote. Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Council Director Jenn Puja talks about the power behind labor’s endorsement, running for office as a woman and a mother of two, and why it’s so important to get involved. NYS AFL-CIO Chief of Staff Ryan Delgado also joins the podcast to talk about what’s at stake in the upcoming election and what labor is doing to ensure a victory for our endorsed candidates.
Broadway, one of the biggest tourist destinations in New York City will remain closed for the rest of the year and New York's Metropolitan Opera just canceled its entire season because of the coronavirus.    On this podcast we hear from James Claffey Jr., president of Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) on when and how live performances will return and how workers are coping with the lights out.  
Each year on Labor Day we recognize and honor the incredible achievements and many contributions of working people. This year however is like no other. While we still honor the hard work of working people, the unemployment rate in New York State is at nearly 16 percent, workers fear about their safety on the job and the safety of their families. Parents struggle with whether to send their children back to school and many families struggle with how to pay for housing and food. And, an alarming number of workers have died or become ill after being exposed to the coronavirus at work. On this podcast we hear from the President of the New York State AFL-CIO, Mario Cilento. President Cilento talks about where we have been in 2020 and what we need to do moving forward to support workers and our economy.
The United States Postal Service is by far the public's favorite agency in the federal government. But just weeks before the 2020 general election, the postal service is caught in the middle of a firestorm with a new postmaster general calling for cutbacks that are causing delivery delays and a President launching an attack on mail-in voting. On this podcast we hear from Bill Cook, the President of the Northeastern New York Branch 358 of the National Association of Letter Carriers to set the record straight. 
There are concerns across the country of a massive undercount for the 2020 Census. In New York state, like many others, residents are falling behind in responding and there is a lot at stake.   In New York City the push to be counted is in full force and labor is playing an important role.   The New York City Central Labor Council has been working hard to get the word out about the importance of filling out the 2020 Census. On this podcast our guest is the Political Director of the NYC CLC, Lucia Gomez who explains why the count is so important and how labor is getting over the many hurdles to ensure everyone is counted.  
More and more of us are returning to our workplaces as New York State reopens after the COVID-19 shutdown. You may also be visiting retail and department stores, hair and nail salons and barber shops. Many New Yorkers are also dining out. The big question is, how do we return safely as clients, customers and workers. On this podcast we will talk about workplace safety in the office setting, and in the retail industry to learn what we can do as customers, clients, and coworkers to stay safe. Our guests are: Geraldine Stella – Health & Safety Specialist at the NYS Public Employees Federation (PEF) David Mertz – Assistant to Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) President Stuart Appelbaum Charlene Obernauer – Executive Director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH)
After the most unusual school year ever, planning is underway on how to safely reopen schools. NYSUT President Andy Pallotta joins the podcast to talk about what school may look like this fall.
The coronavirus pandemic has more workers concerned about workplace safety, job security and benefits like sick time and health insurance – which is why union avoidance firms are anticipating an increase in union organizing. On this podcast, what companies are doing to try to silence working people.
The horrific and senseless death of George Floyd has left us all reeling and during an already uncertain time. As a labor movement, we have always fought for equality, justice, and for civil rights. We must continue to stand united against the hatred that divides us, and instead stand together in peace. Let’s use this moment of unimaginable pain to bring us all together. On this podcast you will hear from the President of the New York State AFL-CIO, Mario Cilento and our Secretary-Treasurer Terry Melvin who is also the President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist as they address racial injustice in America and what the Labor Movement can do to change it.
Keeping voters safe during the coronavirus pandemic has led to procedural changes. NYS AFL-CIO Chief of Staff Ryan Delgado explains what you need to know to make sure your vote counts.  
One of the first regions to reopen, during the COVID-19 pandemic, was the nine county Rochester-Finger Lakes region. Labor is at the table and in the “Regional Control Room”. We talk to Dan Maloney, President of the Rochester Labor Council and Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation to find out how the reopening process is going and what protocols are in place to keep workers safe.​
Construction is one of the first industries to get back up and running as New York state begins to reopen. Pat Purcell, the executive director of Greater New York LECET (Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust), joins us to talk about what that new normal will be like.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand discusses the next stimulus package, the Every Worker Protection Act and shares her thoughts on rebuilding our state and country post COVID-19. Learn about our priorities at nysaflcio.org/cares2 
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Podcast Details

Created by
Union Strong - New York State AFL-CIO
Podcast Status
Mar 4th, 2019
Latest Episode
Apr 7th, 2021
Release Period
2 per month
Avg. Episode Length
23 minutes

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