State of the Unions


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State of the Unions is labor's podcast, a production of the 12.5 million member, 55 union AFL-CIO, bringing you the issues and guests important to working people.

Episode Date
Union Proud: A Conversation with Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis
Julie and Tim talk with Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis as the AFL-CIO constituency group celebrates its 25th anniversary. They discuss the progress made by LGBTQ working people over the past quarter-century and the work still left to be done. 
Jun 12, 2019
A Union Organizer Goes to Washington: In Depth with Rep. Andy Levin

Julie and Tim talk to Congressman Andy Levin (Mich.), a former AFL-CIO employee and career union organizer and activist. They discuss labor law reform, trade and the path to power for working people in Michigan and across the country. 

May 29, 2019
Confronting the Health Care Crisis: A Conversation with NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN

Tim talks to National Nurses United Executive Director Bonnie Castillo about the growing movement of registered nurses organizing for better jobs, a more just society and health care as a fundamental human right. 

May 15, 2019
Not Good Enough: A Conversation on NAFTA with AFL-CIO Trade Policy Specialist Celeste Drake

Julie and Tim talk to AFL-CIO Trade Policy Specialist Celeste Drake about flaws in the proposed new NAFTA and outline the labor movement's high standards for current and future trade agreements. 

May 01, 2019
Special Episode: Can't Stop. Won't Shop. Stories from a UFCW Picket Line

Julie and Tim talk to Kristen Johnson, a deli manager and shop steward at the Stop & Shop in Somerville, Massachusetts. Kristen and more than 30,000 of her co-workers, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), are out on strike for fair pay, benefits and respect on the job.

Apr 17, 2019
#StampOutHunger: A Conversation with the National Association of Letter Carriers

Tim talks to NALC Executive Vice President Brian Renfroe and Assistant to the President for Community Services Christina Vela Davidson about #StampOutHunger, the annual one-day drive which has collected more than one billion pounds of food for the hungry. 

Apr 03, 2019
House Blue Collar Caucus: A Conversation with Reps. Brendan Boyle (Pa.) and Marc Veasey (Texas)
Julie and Tim talk to the co-chairs of the House Blue Collar Caucus. Boyle and Veasey both come from union families and formed the caucus in the aftermath of the 2016 election to better connect with blue collar workers. They say the path to a stronger America runs through the labor movement and any plan to rebuild our economy must include the working people who make it go. 
Mar 20, 2019
A Conversation with Teen Vogue Labor Columnist Kim Kelly

Julie and Tim talk to Kim Kelly, the labor columnist for Teen Vogue and a former music editor at VICE. Kelly shares her journey into radical political activism from humble beginnings in rural New Jersey to a platform that reaches millions. She provides insight into her experience forming a union at VICE and her desire for young people to challenge capitalism in today's economy. 

Mar 06, 2019
A Special Black History Month Conversation with IUPAT General President Ken Rigmaiden

Julie and Tim talk to Ken Rigmaiden, general president of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. He details his journey from a floor covering installer in San Jose, California, to the highest ranks of the labor movement. He reflects back on his experience with racism and discrimination while also uplifting the many opportunities he's been given. Above all, he stresses his commitment to opening the door for the next generation of union members, activists and leaders. 

Feb 20, 2019
In-Depth with Kooper Caraway, South Dakota's 28-Year-Old Labor Leader

Julie and Tim talk to Kooper Caraway, the dynamic 28-year old president of the Sioux Falls AFL-CIO. Caraway offers his ideas for how the labor movement can reach young people, recalls his own history with activism and informs Tim that millennials don't use the word "cool."

Feb 06, 2019
Honoring Dr. King's Legacy: A Special Conversation with Andrew Gillum
Julie and Tim talk with former Tallahassee mayor and 2018 gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (Florida), who calls himself a "living, breathing, walking, talking result of (Dr. King's) legacy." Gillum shares his experience on the campaign trail and previews the important fights ahead on voting, worker and civil rights. 
Jan 23, 2019
Special #StopTheShutdown Episode: A Conversation with AFGE President J. David Cox

With the government shutdown in its third week, Julie and Tim talk to J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. Cox says his members are being held hostage by extremist politics and is calling on all working people to demand that Congress and the White House reopen the government and put federal employees back to work. 

Jan 09, 2019
Year in Review: Collective Action on the Rise
Julie and Tim look back at the best guests and topics of 2018. 
Dec 26, 2018
Aviation's First Responders: A Conversation with Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President Sara Nelson
Julie and Tim talk to UNITE HERE about recent worker victories at Marriott and go in-depth with AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson. 
Dec 12, 2018
Special Episode: What’s Wrong with GM?

In a special episode, Julie and Tim discuss plant closures at General Motors with longtime autoworker Brad Markell

Dec 05, 2018
"I've Never Been More Optimistic": A Conversation with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Julie and Tim put a bow on the midterm elections and chat with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. 

Nov 28, 2018
Midterms Debrief: A Conversation with Rep. Conor Lamb

Julie and Tim react to the midterm elections and interview Congressman Conor Lamb (Pa.). 

Nov 14, 2018
Union Members in Public Office: A Conversation with Hillside, N.J., Mayor Dahlia Vertreese

Julie and Tim discuss the 2018 elections and interview Dahlia Vertreese. 

Oct 31, 2018
Speaking Truth to Power: A Conversation with Flint Whistleblower Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Julie and Tim discuss Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony and interview Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha.

Oct 16, 2018
Introducing State of the Unions: An AFL-CIO Podcast

Julie and Tim introduce themselves to listeners and talk about the state of labor unions in America. 

Oct 16, 2018