141 Report: New Hire Outreach and Education Program
21 January 2022
In this week’s 141 Report, host Dave Lehive sits down with two new 141 union educators who are involved with efforts to educate new hires about unionism, Sean Rosario and Bruno Pereira.
Most Americans have limited experience with unions and unionism. Decades of anti-worker legislation and lax enforcement of labor laws have resulted in fewer and fewer opportunities for Americans to join together in a union. Today, fewer than one in ten workers belong to a labor organization, and the overall American workforce is rapidly losing power as a result.
Moreover, the lack of knowledge about unions and how they operate has given rise to a proliferation of anti-union myths and indoctrination designed to keep employees in their place, atomized, and vulnerable to exploitation.
To combat this misinformation campaign, the Machinists Union has launched an initiative to teach newly hired employees at unionized workplaces about organized labor – from how worker-led programs get funded to how leaders are elected to represent them.
The program was the brainchild of Machinists Union Chief of Staff Richard Johnsen, who is also heading the robust transportation-worker sector of the union, called the Transportation Territory.
The program is just one part of an education program that is unequaled in the union movement. The Machinists Union operates an academy dedicated to labor studies called the Winpisinger Training and Education Center, which trains hundreds of union members on topics such as organizing, leadership, and communications.
District 141 also holds regular, on-site training classes through its Education Department, led by Director of Education, Mac McGovern. Members can coordinate with their local lodges to request a training class at their location.
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