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Season 5, Episode 26

Alabama joins several southern states in improving union density



Guest Name:

Adam Keller

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Adam Keller, Co-Host of the Valley Labor Report, appeared on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss organizing at Alabama Arise. Keller also discussed union density increases across the South and what to expect when the state legislature returns to session.

Recently, Keller and a few colleagues forged an organizing committee at Alabama Arise, a non-profit organization based in Montgomery. The organization’s management and leaders supported the effort with voluntary union recognition. The 14 staff members are the newest bargaining unit for Communication Workers of America Local 3908. The ease in the organizing efforts showcases the pro-labor organization and helps strengthen the work they do to grow and develop strength in labor throughout Alabama.

With the recent union density report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Keller discussed many southern states that have increased their union membership. While it’s a tough road ahead for unions and organizing in the South, Keller discussed why there were a lot of positive wins in the region. With the United Auto Workers targeting non-union automakers in the South, Keller expects the percentages to increase. He then discussed the updates around the organizing campaigns at Hyundai and Mercedes Benz plants in the state and how Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has impacted these efforts. 

Finally, he said the Alabama Legislature returns to session today. Keller discussed the proposed legislation that could harm the labor movement in the state. Alabama is one of 10 states not to expand Medicaid coverage, and legislation has been introduced to provide coverage for some residents who currently fall outside of the program’s requirements. Among the problematic legislation introduced is state Senate Bill 1, which would impact absentee voting in the state by eliminating some programs that assist retirees in casting their votes. Keller is hopeful there will be pro-labor legislation passed, but also said that several campaigns will be run to combat bad legislation.

Listen to the entire episode to hear more about union news in Alabama.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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