Solidarity Works Podcast


Organizing the South: Why It Matters and How We Do It

This May, members at electric bus manufacturer Blue Bird in Georgia voted to join the USW. Then, in August, members at Kumho Tire, also in middle Georgia, ratified their first contract after a years-long battle to have their voices heard. Check out the latest USW podcast episode to learn how these historic campaigns happened and why they matter not just for the South but for the entire country.

Direct Download | Episode 48 Link


Taking Charge: Health Care Workers Seize Their Safety

This week, nearly 200 USW members who work in the vast and diverse health care sector are gathering in Pittsburgh for their first Health Care Workers Council Conference since 2018. A lot has changed in the industry over these past five years, not only due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because of automation, short staffing, and skyrocketing rates of workplace violence.

Health and safety has quickly become one of the top priorities for the sector's workers, and USW members especially aren't waiting for employers to protect them. They're taking matters into their own hands.

In our latest episode, we hear from two members and conference attendees, Kim and Casey, who are using the collective strength of the union to make positive changes in their workplaces in order to keep themselves and their co-workers safe and supported on the job.

Direct Download | Episode 47 Link


Unionism on Turtle Island: Indigenous Peoples and the Fight for Reconciliation

For this episode of Solidarity Works, we’re talking with two USW members who are currently serving as Indigenous Engagement Coordinators for the union’s District 3 and 6 in Canada. Listen to learn about how they’ve been reconnecting to their Indigenous roots and how local unions can make a difference in making sure their Indigenous members not only survive but thrive within their communities and workplaces.

Direct Download | Episode 46 Link


Jobs for Justice: From Prison Chaplains to Public Defenders

When Sean Gardener, a Buddhist chaplain in Canada, first walked into the prison where he would be providing spiritual care to people behind bars, he expected to feel nervous or fearful. Instead, he felt at home.

Listen to our latest episode of Solidarity Works to hear from Sean, along with a public defender in Pennsylvania, talk about working in the criminal justice field and share their experiences as USW members.

Direct Download | Episode 45 Link


Still Fighting: USW Veterans Mobilize and Make History

At the start of this year, the USW announced a new initiative with our Rapid Response and Veterans of Steel activist groups to push for legislation that helps our military veterans, especially in the workplace. For the latest episode of Solidarity Works, we talk with several USW members about their experience serving in the military and why legislation is needed to uplift veterans as they navigate re-entering civilian life.

Direct Download | Episode 44 Link


Leveling the Playing Field: How Sports Unions Change the Game

From the XFL and USFL to Rugby Canada, professional athletes are organizing with the USW to gain a stronger voice on the job and protect their health and safety. Listen to the latest episode of Solidarity Works to learn about how sports unions change the game and bring teamwork to a whole new level.

Direct Download | Episode 43 Link


Rising Tides: Race, Class, and Building a Fair Economy

In the latest episode of Solidarity Works, we talk with USW Vice President of Human Affairs Kevin Mapp and Pride at Work Co-President Brittani Murray about uniting workers across race, class, and gender to build a labor coalition that lasts.

Direct Download | Episode 42 Link


The Next Frontier of Labor: Workplace Innovation and Technology

As workplace innovation and technology evolve more rapidly than ever before, the labor movement is stepping up to ensure workers’ voices are represented in this Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In the latest episode of Solidarity Works, we talk with the director of the AFL-CIO Tech Institute, as well as two USW members in health care and manufacturing, about how employers can center humanity in the future of technology, how to manage tech as it impacts new industries, and how it can be used to make workers’ jobs safer and easier.

Direct Download | Episode 41 Link


Labor of Love: The History and Future of LGBTQ+ Organizing

Listen to the latest episode of USW’s Solidarity Works podcast to learn about some of history’s unforgotten labor heroes, as well as a new Pride at Work partnership that aims to increase union membership among LGBTQ+ workers! Find it at or wherever you access your favorite podcasts.

Direct Download | Episode 40 Link


Why Midterms Matter

This month, we’re talking with USW Vice President at Large Roxanne Brown about what’s at stake for workers this November during midterm elections. We’re also joined by Local 1557 member JoJo Burgess about his experience getting out the vote in Pennsylvania. Learn more at

Direct Download | Episode 39 Link


Raising the Bar on Women's Health and Safety

Finding equipment that fits properly is a common issue for women in certain industries, as is having access to adequate restrooms and changing facilities. This is one of the many reasons why the USW has released a new action guide in the United States called Raising the Bar on Women’s Health and Safety.

Listen to the latest episode of Solidarity Works to hear from several Women of Steel about their experiences advocating for their safety and health on the job, and how your local can use this action guide to make your workplace safer for all!

Direct Download | Episode 38 Link


The Battle of Bay City: Bus Drivers Fight Back Privatization

Bay City Public School bus drivers are back at the wheel this school year, and they’re fired up and ready to go after beating back privatization efforts this past May. Listen to the latest episode of Solidarity Works to hear about their impressive fight and their continued campaign to keep their jobs intact and their students safe.

Direct Download | Episode 37 Link


Bayard Rustin and the Art of Angelic Trouble-making

For the latest episode of Solidarity Works, we talk with two activists from the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice about the life and legacy of the late labor and civil rights’ leader, who has often remained in the shadows of history. We also chat about their work with the LGBTQ+ community and how everyone can play a role in building a more inclusive, loving movement for all.

Direct Download | Episode 36 Link


Brewing Change: Young Workers and the Starbucks Labor Movement

Young workers are voting to unionize at lightning speed at Starbucks locations across the US and Canada. Listen to our latest episode to hear from one of these new labor activists, Sarah Broad, talk about her journey as a barista and organizing one of the largest corporations in the world.

Direct Download | Episode 35 Link


When Disaster Strikes: Meet the USW Emergency Response Team

Allan McDougall, the first director of the USW Emergency Response Team, learned firsthand the importance of healing and the need for long-lasting support from unions more than thirty years ago while working in a mine in Canada. After witnessing multiple co-workers’ deaths and suffering in silence with alcoholism, Allan took control of his life and health, and brought that experience to the groundbreaking USW program. 

Listen to the latest episode of Solidarity Works to learn more about how the Emergency Response Team was created, how it serves members in their most vulnerable moments, and how you can get involved.

Direct Download | Episode 34 Link


Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence

For the latest episode of Solidarity Works, two USW activists and leaders -- Teresa and Mayson -- share their stories of surviving intimate partner abuse and how unions can help break the cycle of domestic violence.

Learn more from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at

Direct Download | Episode 33 Link


How to Defend a Dream

In honor of Black History Month, the latest episode of Solidarity Works highlights three USW activists who are building upon the work and legacies of civil rights and community leaders like Dr. King, Bayard Rustin, and Rosa Parks.

Direct Download | Episode 32 Link


Beyond Books: Organizing the Carnegie Library Workers

In August 2019, 300 workers across 19 branches of the historic Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh voted enthusiastically to join the United Steelworkers union, and earlier this month, they officially became members as they ratified their first agreement! 

For the latest episode of Solidarity Works, we talk to two library workers about their monumental organizing campaign and about their roles as pillars of the community.

Direct Download | Episode 31 Link


The Fight for Health Care Heroes at Kaiser Permanente

In the early morning hours of Saturday, November 13, United Steelworkers Local 7600 reached a tentative agreement with health care giant Kaiser Permanente, preventing an impending strike. More than 40,000 health care workers across the West Coast would have, if necessary, walked off the job that following Monday in their fight for safe staffing and wage justice in the Inland Empire.

Today, we're sitting down to talk with Local 7600 President Micheal Barnett and Vice President Norberto Gomez about this monumental fight that brought thousands of health care workers together to win this contract and what the local’s plans are for the future.

Direct Download | Episode 30 Link


Organizing Academia: A Conversation with Pitt Faculty Union Activists

Last week, more than 3,000 faculty members at the university of Pittsburgh voted to become members of the United Steelworkers union after a robust organizing campaign that began in 2014. Today, we're talking with two faculty members and activists who have been with the campaign from the start about what it took to secure this historic election and what comes next in the fight for a first fair contract. Learn more at

Direct Download | Episode 29 Link


We Supply America: The Bus Tour and the Battle Cry of a Nation

The wheels may have ground to a halt, but the fight never ends! Listen to the latest episode of Solidarity Works to learn about the USW’s We Supply America infrastructure campaign and the six-state bus tour that allowed us to highlight all the amazing work our members do that can help rebuild our country.

Direct Download | Episode 28 Link 


Everything but the Shade: Safety and Sustainability in the Paper Sector

This week, hundreds of USW members in the paper and forestry industry are convening for the biennial paper bargaining conference to have their voices heard and to set their local unions’ priorities for the future.

With more than 90,000 members and more than 500 contracts, the union’s paper sector is massive and has lived multiple lives throughout the decades as it merged and evolved to overcome a slew of challenges. For the latest episode of Solidarity Works, we talk to USW Vice President Leeann Foster about safety and sustainability in the industry that has learned to make the most of whatever cards it’s been dealt.

Direct Download | Episode 27 Link


Risk & Reward: An Interview with Labor Author and Organizer Anne Balay 

Anne Balay published her first book, Steel Closets, featuring the stories of forty gay, lesbian, and trans steelworkers, in 2014. Four years later, after a personal career setback, she persevered and published her second book, Semi Queer, focusing on the world of gay, trans, and black truck drivers. 

For the latest episode of Solidarity Works, and in honor of Pride Month, we talk to Balay about the adrenaline of survival, overcoming other people’s prejudices as well as our own, and the richly textured lives of some of America’s most marginalized yet resilient workers. Visit to learn more.

Direct Download | Episode 26 Link


Untapped Power: A Conversation on Asian American and Pacific Islander Workers

To close out Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, USW Solidarity Works speaks with several activists with the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) who are on the ground fighting for their diverse communities every day. Learn about combatting anti-Asian racism, immigration and documentation hurdles, and how to get your local union involved with APALA.

Direct Download | Episode 25 Link


Rebuilding for Resilience: Infrastructure and the American Jobs Plan

The United States is the wealthiest country in the world, yet we rank 13th when it comes to the overall quality of our infrastructure. The American Jobs Plan aims to change that. 

For the latest episode of Solidarity Works, we talk with USW President Tom Conway as well as with a local union member at Dow Chemical in Michigan about the importance of investing in infrastructure and in our communities.

Direct Download | Episode 24 Link


May Day: The Movement That Shook the World

International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day or Labour Day in most countries, is a celebration of the working class. Its roots are found in the fight for the eight-hour day, which began in Chicago and culminated in the infamous Haymarket Affair on May 4, 1886.

Direct Download | Episode 23 Link


American Rescue: What Economic Recovery Means to Workers

President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law on Thursday, March 11, a historic piece of legislation that aims to jolt the economy back to life. For the latest episode of Solidarity Works, we talk to two members of the union as well as USW Legislative Director Roy Houseman about what this bill means for workers, their families, and their communities.

Direct Download | Episode 22 Link


Women & Work: A Year of Reckoning and Reflection

One year ago, much of the United States entered various stages of lockdown due to the coronavirus. Since then, a lot has changed for most workers, but today, women remain the most economically impacted by the upheaval. Healthcare concerns, both physical and mental, are on the rise as well for many women and their families, as the pandemic moves into its second year and as vaccines are just now becoming more widely available.

For the latest episode of Solidarity Works, we talk to two Women of Steel -- a health care worker in Georgia and a refinery control room operator in Ohio -- about how life at home and on the job has changed over the past year, and what legislative leaders can do to ease the burden so many are bearing across the nation.

Direct Download | Episode 21 Link


The Lowell Mill Girls: Celebrating America’s First Union of Working Women

In the early 19th century, long before the mass movements for labor and civil rights would grip the nation, a group of determined women and girls working in the textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, mobilized to create the first union of working women in American history.

Take a trip back in time for the latest episode of Solidarity Works, where you will revisit this legendary moment that proved to the country and the world that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, and that even just a little organizing can go a long way.

Direct Download | Episode 20 Link


Fighting for Freedom: The Life and Legacy of A. Philip Randolph

On August 28, 1963, nearly a quarter of a million people gathered in the nation’s capital for the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Martin Luther King Jr.’s rousing “I Have a Dream” speech is the most cited moment from that monumental event, but another man, the very mastermind behind the march itself, opened the record-breaking day with a beautiful, succinct speech in his resounding baritone voice.

His name was A. Philip Randolph, and for the latest episode of Solidarity Works, we dive into his life and legacy by talking with the president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Clayola Brown, who is also the new head of the AFL-CIO Civil, Human, and Women’s Rights Department.

Direct Download | Episode 19 Link


A Solid Foundation: Inside the President’s Cabinet

There’s a lot that looks familiar in President Joe Biden’s Cabinet, but there is also a newness potent throughout, from installing the nation’s first openly gay Secretary to establishing the brand-new Office for Energy Jobs within the Department of Energy.

Listen to the first Solidarity Works podcast episode of 2021 to learn more about the history of the U.S. Cabinet, what roles some of the Secretaries play, and what the USW is hoping to see come out of the new administration’s core group of presidential advisors.

Direct Download | Episode 18 Link


The Lochner Legacy: How the Supreme Court Impacts Workers

Check out the latest episode of Solidarity Works for a conversation about labor law and the Supreme Court, the history and impact of the Lochner Era, and what labor needs to do to fight back against legislative attacks on workers’ rights.

Direct Download | Episode 17 Link


More Than a Game: A Conversation on Labor and Collegiate Sports with Ramogi Huma

Tune into the latest USW podcast episode to hear from National College Players Association Founder and Director Ramogi Huma on the intersection of labor and sports activism, the power of collective action, and the challenges facing college athletes during this unprecedented moment of the coronavirus pandemic.

Direct Download | Episode 16 Link


First Class: How the USPS Made America

From providing hundreds of thousands of family-supporting union jobs, to connecting people to lifelines including medication and paychecks, the United States Postal Service continues serving the American public 245 years after its founding. Learn about the agency’s history, its current challenges, and how to help keep it funded and strong for the future in the latest Solidarity Works podcast episode.

Direct Download | Episode 15 Link


Let It Shine: Women, Work, and Wielding Power in 2020

For the latest episode of Solidarity Works, hear from Coalition of Labor Union Women President Elise Bryant, USW Women of Steel Director Ann Flener-Gittlen, and Local 9460 President Deanna Hughes about what it means to step up as a woman in leadership, how to overcome the fears that can hold women back, and what women need to do in this crucial election year to move forward together. 

Direct Download | Episode 14 Link


Defending Democracy: Protecting and Honoring the Vote in 2020

In January 1965, after two full years of fighting for Black Americans’ right to vote throughout the South, the Dallas County Voters League and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee had felt they had hit a wall with white indifference and inaction. And so, they called upon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to join their campaign in Selma, Alabama.

Today, in 2020, the fight for the vote continues. Listen to the latest Solidarity Works episode to hear from USW Vice President Roxanne Brown, as well as from a steelworker in Gary, Indiana, about the current-day battle for the ballot and how you can get involved. 

Direct Download | Episode 13 Link


A More Perfect Union: A Conversation with Union Veterans Council Executive Director Will Attig

Listen to the latest USW Solidarity Works podcast episode to hear from Union Veterans Council Executive Director Will Attig on the top issues veterans are currently facing, how labor and veterans can work together to create change, and why more and more service members are stepping out into the streets. You’ll also hear from USW International President Tom Conway about the union’s Veterans of Steel program.

Direct Download | Episode 12 Link


Back to Our Roots: A Conversation with Pride at Work Director Jerame Davis

Listen to the latest USW podcast episode to hear from Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis on the recent SCOTUS victory for LGBTQ+ workers, how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the community, and how the current swell of protests around racial injustice have helped remind a movement of its roots.

Direct Download | Episode 11 Link


Poor People’s Campaign: Tackling the Interlocking Injustices of America

On June 20, 2020, the Poor People’s Campaign, led by friend of the USW Rev. Dr. William Barber, will host the largest digital and social media gathering with the Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington. A reboot of MLK’s monumental event in 1968, this campaign calls for all hands on deck to address systemic racism, poverty, and all other interlocking injustices of America. Listen to the latest USW podcast episode to hear Barber speak on seizing this moment in history to make real change for the 140 million poor and low-income people in the United States.

Direct Download | Episode 10 Link


Better Together: Fear and Mental Health in the Age of COVID-19

Fear, grief, anger -- workers everywhere are experiencing a storm of emotions amidst the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. It’s up to every one of us to ensure mental health is a priority, and to remember that there are real humans with real trauma behind the headlines. As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, the latest Solidarity Works podcast episode focuses on creating a dialogue around these issues. Listen to it on your favorite streaming service or at

Direct Download | Episode 9 Link


Stories of Survival: Reporting and Resilience in Puerto Rico

Workers in Puerto Rico, including USW members in health care, public service, and technology, have endured wave after wave of destruction and chaos in recent years. It’s the job of Local 6135 members at GFR Media to document it all as it unfolds. Listen to the latest USW podcast episode to hear about reporting and resilience on the Caribbean island.

Direct Download | Episode 8 Link


Mobilizing America: Manufacturing During a Crisis

The coronavirus outbreak has squeezed the U.S. manufacturing sector as many companies have been forced to shut down, but others have ramped up production both to help provide front-line workers with the equipment they need as well as provide everyday essentials and services to keep America running. Check out the latest USW podcast episode, featuring International President Tom Conway, to learn about the mobilization happening amidst COVID, how and when it’s been done before, and what’s needed to move manufacturing forward post-pandemic.

Direct Download | Episode 7 Link


On the Frontlines: Health Care Workers and the Battle Against COVID-19

Direct Download | Episode 6 Link


Madam Secretary Frances Perkins and the Fight for Worker Safety

When the darkness of the Great Depression swept across the globe in the 1930s, one woman in America lit the flame that would finally help bring light to millions of U.S. workers and their families. As we close out Women’s History Month, the USW podcast Solidarity Works spotlights Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve as a president’s cabinet secretary, as a reminder of what can be accomplished by ordinary people during extraordinary times.

Direct Download | Episode 5 Link


We, Too, Are America: Black Labor Week in Gary, Indiana

Nine years ago, USW member E.J. Jenkins had a vision -- he wanted to start conversations and ignite change in his community of Gary, Ind., a lakeside city just outside of Chicago struggling with mass joblessness and a housing crisis caused by a history of segregation and steel industry downturns. That vision led to what is now Black Labor Week, an annual five days dedicated to labor, to blackness and to the community members of Gary. Listen to this Solidarity Works episode to learn about the Steelworker event that is growing into a movement, the activists who make it all happen and the city they serve

Direct Download | Episode 4 Link


Immigrant Power and the Bread and Roses Strike of 1912

On January 11, 1912, a group of Polish women weavers at a textile mill in Lawrence, Mass., found out their already abysmal pay had been cut as the result of a new bill that shortened the workweek from 56 to 54 hours. They shut down their machines, refusing to labor any more without the proper pay, as they were producing more than ever, and faster.

What resulted was one of the most monumental strikes in U.S. labor history, and it was led by thousands of immigrant workers who realized their worth and refused to settle for anything less.

Direct Download | Episode 3 Link


Punching Above Our Weight: A Conversation with Rapid Response Director Amber Miller

For our first full episode, we are excited to bring you a conversation with USW’s Rapid Response Director Amber Miller about the busy legislative year that was 2019 and what lies ahead in 2020 for workers and the bills that will undoubtedly impact their lives.

Make sure to visit to sign up to receive updates about legislation that impacts labor and workers, and to learn more about the bills discussed in this episode.

Direct Download | Episode 2 Link


Welcome to Solidarity Works!

Welcome to Solidarity Works, a podcast from the United Steelworkers (USW) union. We’re here to have conversations and start conversations about the past, present, and future of the labor movement, as well as talk about some of the work the union is doing, with USW activists leading the way.

Direct Download | Episode 1 Link


Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222