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Season 4, Episode 78

Bell: VA employment dropped during COVID, unions still recovering


Guest Name:

Darryll Bell

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Darryll Bell, President of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 31, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and spoke about contract negotiations and how employee rights were stripped away. He also detailed the need to organize more Veteran Affairs employees into the union.

Bell discussed the need to adjust multiple aspects of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which contains language that appears to be anti-worker. For instance, he feels the current CBA makes it unreasonably difficult for workers to receive promotions. While moving up the ladder was difficult under previous Democratic presidential administrations, the anti-labor mindset of the Trump administration was extreme and made it even harder, Bell said.

He also spoke about the push to increase union membership through organizing. During the COVID-19 pandemic, VA employment dropped as many workers retired. With the pandemic in the review mirror, labor unions are still in recovery mode as they need new members to replace those who left. He explained that many VA positions remain unfilled, and there are not enough people interested in these jobs, which places more of a burden on current VA employees.

Bell then talked about the importance of political leaders taking action when unions ask for help. This is especially important when years have passed without results, he added.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics:



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: American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Auto Workers, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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