Wasiura on Leslie Marshall Show: Unions Build Strong Communities

USW District 4 Director Dave Wasiura this week appeared on the Leslie Marshall Show to discuss the positive impact unions and union members make on their communities as they help reduce economic inequality and advance worker-friendly policies that have widespread benefits.

“Unions give workers a voice in shaping their communities,” said Wasiura. “That includes increased civic engagement and more focused political power for working families. It's a win win-win all-around.”

Wasiura cited nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., who were on an unfair labor practice strike for nearly five months last year. Their primary concerns centered not on wages, but on safer staffing ratios designed to protect both nurses and their patients.

“The labor dispute really came down to community, and how nurses could best continue providing top quality care for their patients over the long term,” Wasiura said.

“This wasn't about their personal interests or bettering themselves; it was, ‘I need more help on my job, so I can help people and save their lives.’”

Wasiura said the nurses fought to ensure they were safe at work and had the help they needed, so patients could be seen quickly and properly.

The USW is also using its deep community roots and relationships with federal agencies to help workers in Puerto Rico as they grapple with the recent privatization of their power grid.

“We are working together to rebuild the infrastructure for the power grid to make sure that every corner of the island is being touched by this renewal and sustainability of power, not just in the larger cities,” Wasiura said.

“We go to work every day for eight to 10 hours – sometimes longer,” said Wasiura. “We want those workplaces to be as safe and as healthy as possible.”

The full interview is available below.

Listen to "How Unions Help Communities" on Spreaker.

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